Friday 24 January 2020
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Dawn News - 2 month ago

Dawn s Islamabad bureau besieged by protesters for the second time this week

Protesters on Friday besieged Dawn s Islamabad bureau — the second time this week — and chanted slogans against the media group and set copies of the newspaper on fire. Nearly 100 people who had arrived in vans gathered outside the newspaper s office. Police arrived on the scene but the protesters dispersed on their own after about 40 minutes. Yet another orchestrated demo against Dawn outside its office in Islamabad, tweeted Dawn Editor Zaffar Abbas. Same lot, threatening tone, bigger in number have blocked entrance. We have informed police have told them it’s their duty to protect our staff property. Let’s hope someone from govt will intervene!! They have just dispersed after burning some copies of Dawn, Abbas said. Everyone has a right to protest as long as they are not violent. The International Press Institute (IPI), in a statement, condemned the threatening demonstrations , saying: Dawn is a bastion of independent journalism and Pakistan must guarantee the safety of its journalists. The protest today took place only hours after the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights directed Islamabad police to look into the siege on Monday of Dawn s Islamabad offices. Protests, threats against Dawn A mob had staged a demonstration on Monday against the publication of a news report regarding the origins of the London Bridge attacker who stabbed two persons to death last week. The charged mob, carrying banners and chanting slogans against the newspaper, had remained outside the office building for nearly three hours, besieging the premises and making the staffers hostage. Another protest against the media group was staged outside the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday. The siege was condemned by media bodies, journalists, lawmakers and rights groups. PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari visited the office the day after the protest to express solidarity with the staffers who had remained under siege . Following the attack, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar had taken notice of the besieging of Dawn offices by the unidentified persons and directed the inspector general of police Islamabad to submit a report on the issue to the committee by today. The protest outside the media group s Islamabad s office was also condemned by Prime minister s aide Firdous Ashiq Awan two days later, when she was asked about the siege. [The government] will discourage such acts, she had said.

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