Journalist missing after house raided in Karachi10 Jul, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses serious concern over the disappearance of a journalist who was picked by a dozen men in plainclothes in the early hours of Sunday, July 9 in Karachi, Pakistan. The IFJ demands urgent action from government to ascertain his whereabouts and ensure his safe recovery.
Abdullah Zafar, a staff reporter at The Nation daily, was taken away by over a dozen men in plainclothes who raided his family house at the Lawyers Society, Sacchal in Karachi. Zafarullah, the father of the missing journalist, said that the men arrived in three vehicles accompanied by two police vans. “Over a dozen personnel in plainclothes arrived at my home at late night,” he told The Nation. “After entering our home, they went to my son’s room and after a two-minute talk with him, they took him away.”
The police, paramilitary force and counter-terrorism department have all denied carrying out the raid or detaining the journalist. The missing journalist’s family have accused the police of not registering the incident for investigation.
The Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) has condemned the disappearance and demanded that the concerned authorities to take notice to ensure the information about the whereabouts of the journalist.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ is seriously concerned about the safety and wellbeing of journalist Abdullah Zafar, who was picked up by plainclothes personnel on July 9. It is a concerning trend in Pakistan for the security agencies to unlawfully detain journalists under false accusations. The IFJ demands urgent action from the Pakistan government to find out Zafar’s whereabouts and ensure his safe recovery.”
The IFJ also notes that journalist Zeenat Shahzadi is still missing from Lahore, Pakistan, since August 2015 and the authorities have failed to ascertain her whereabouts. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists who are subjected to frequent threats, attacks and killings. In 2017, three media staff have already been killed in Pakistan.