Norwegian journalist Kadafi Zaman arrested in Pakistan
TV 2 reporter Kadafi Zaman, who is arrested in Pakistan while working for the channel, has been accused of disruption of public order and attempted murder, according to Aftenposten.
The profiled journalist was arrested and imprisoned on Friday while covering demonstrations in the north of the country on behalf of Norwegian TV 2.
According to Aftenposten Zaman, along with 38 others, has been charged with attempted murder, to have taken the phones from four policemen, of tearing the uniform of an police officer and for disruption of public order.
In the police report the newspaper has gotten access to, it is stated that shots were fired at the police – Hence the charge of attempted murder. According to the newspaper, nothing is stated about who fired the shots or were behind the other actions.
How long Zaman will remain under lock and key is unclear.
Bludgeoned by batons
Zaman informs his employer that since his arrest he has been incarnated in a cell together with 21 others.
He was detained despite announcing that he was performing his job as a journalist.
– I witnessed extremely violent behavior from the police who used batons to curb the demonstration. In connection with that, I was attacked and bludgeoned with batons, despite informing that I was from the press, says Zaman to TV 2.
– We have received reports from Kadafi and witnesses who report that the police behaved brutally. They used live ammunition to fire in the air above them and beat protesters using riot sticks. And that was precisely what Zaman wanted to convey and report back home, and then he himself is arrested in that situation, says news editor in TV 2, Karianne Solbrække, to NTB on Saturday evening.
The channel has continuous contact with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD). UD on their hand announce that they are aware that a Norwegian journalist is incarnated in Pakistan.
– The Embassy in Islamabad is in touch with him and provides consular assistance. We are also in close dialogue with his employer in Norway. We are working hard on the case, says Press Contact in UD, Kristin Enstad, to NTB.
Working to get him released
The Pakistani Embassy in Oslo announces that they too are working to get Zaman released from custody.
– We are now working on getting an overview of the situation, says Pakistan’s ambassador to Norway, Riffat Masood to VG.
She travels to Islamabad on Saturday night and she says she has assigned the task to her Chief of Staff and her Deputy Zaib Abbasi.
– We are currently working on getting Zaman released ASAP, says Abassi to VG.
The Embassy tries to get in touch with the first secretary of Punjab, the province’s senior official, as well as various ministries and cabinet ministers.
Zaman is on holiday with his family, but is also covering demonstrations in Pakistan.
– TV 2 reacts strongly to the fact that our reporter is arrested when he tries to do his job as a journalist. This is very grave. We have not had the opportunity to speak directly with him, and thus know too little about the situation to say much right now, says Solbrække to his own channel.
His family has been in contact with him after the apprehension. They say that he is doing fine considering the circumstances, according to TV 2.
The arrest occurred shortly after Zaman himself reported that the police made mass arrests of demonstrators who support former Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
Sharif, who is heading the Pakistani Muslim League (PML-N) Party, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in absentia for corruption on July 6th. He was arrested when he returned to Pakistan from London on Friday.
On July 25th, there is a general election in Pakistan and there has been a lot of unrest in the country lately because of this.
According to Sharif’s party, at least 4,000 party members were arrested by Pakistani police on Friday.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today