ISLAMABAD – Several armed men entered the Karachi Press Club in the southern Pakistan city, searched the building and harassed reporters there, journalists said on Friday.
“Dozens of gunmen in plainclothes entered the Karachi Press Club at 10:30 pm (on Thursday) and harassed journalists, examined different rooms, kitchen, upper floor of the building and sports hall,” Niamat Khan, Joint Secretary of the club, told EFE.
“They forcibly made videos and took pictures with mobile cameras of different portions of the press club. It caused panic among the journalists and when they asked them, they were not able to give satisfactory answers as to who they were and why they were doing that,” Khan said.
The men arrived in several vehicles, including a police mobile, Khan said, adding that authorities have promised to investigate the incident.
“It is the first ever incident of this kind since the press club was founded in 1958. Today, we are holding a protest at 3 pm at the press club against this,” he said.
Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists and Reporters Without Borders ranked it 139 out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index.
In recent months, journalists in the country have organized protests against censorship.
In early October, hundreds of journalists protested in Islamabad against censorship and restrictions against the media.
Journalists also voiced the lack of freedom to report before the July 25 general elections, when English-language daily Dawn ran into circulation issues in parts of the country and television channel Geo was blocked in April.