TV 2 reporter imprisoned in Pakistan says he was attacked and beaten with batons

Kadafi ZamanKadafi Zaman journalist in TV2(Norway).Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB Scanpix

TV reporter Kadafi Zaman, who was arrested in Pakistan on Friday, said he was attacked and beaten with batons.

 

It is still unclear what the reason for the arrest was and how long Zaman is to be imprisoned according to TV 2.

Zaman was arrested while reporting on demonstrations in the north of the country.

“I witnessed extremely violent behaviour by the police, who used clubs to stop the activists.In that connection, I was attacked and hit with the clubs, despite saying

I was from the press,” explained Zaman to his own news channel.

He said that since the arrest he has been imprisoned in a cell with 21 other people.

Consular assistance

“We have received reports from Kadafi and witnesses said that the police behaved brutally.They shot into the air, and beat protesters with batons.This was what

Zaman wanted to convey and report back home, and then he himself was arrested in that situation,’’said news editor, Karianne Solbrække of TV 2 to NTB news on Saturday night.

The channel has ongoing contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), who announced that they are aware that a Norwegian journalist is imprisoned in Pakistan.

‘’The Embassy in Islamabad is in touch with him and is providing consular assistance.

We are also in close dialogue with his employer in Norway. We are working hard with the case,” said press contact Kristin Enstad to NTB news.

Working to get him released

The Pakistani embassy in Oslo also announced that they are working to release Zaman.

“We are now working on an overview,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to Norway, Riffat Masood,to VG news.

She travelled to Islamabad on Saturday night and she says she has put her ambassador and deputy chief, Zaib Abbasi, on the matter.

“We are now working to release Zaman as quickly as possible,” Abassi told VG.

The Embassy, among other things, tried to get in touch with the first secretary of Punjab,the province’s senior official, as well as various ministries and ministers.

On holiday

Zaman was on holiday with his family, but also had to cover demonstrations in the country.

“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 serious. We have not had the opportunity to speak directly with him,and thus know too little about the situation to say so much more right now,” said Solbrække to TV2.

His family has been in contact with him after the arrest. They say that he is in good spirits under the circumstances, according to TV 2.

The arrest occurred shortly after Zaman himself reported that the police were sent to mass protests by politicians who support former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Unrest

Sharif, who is from the Pakistani Muslim League (PML-N) party, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in absentia for corruption on the 6th of July. He was arrested when he returned to Pakistan from London on Friday.

On July 25, there is an election in Pakistan, and lately there has been turmoil in the country.

According to Sharif’s party, at least 4,000 party members were arrested by Pakistani police on Friday.

 

© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today

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