National Press Club: Several journalists got injured in the clash

Islamabad, Pakistan: Two rival group had clash in the National Press Club of Pakistan in which several journalists got injured.

Recently, the National Press Club held its annual election after which one of the groups (Azad Panel) accused their rival (Journalist Panel) of rigging. On Thursday, Azad Panel announced to conduct a referendum over the election, Dawn reported.

Leaders, members and activists of the panel gathered outside the club while members of the winning Journalist Panel were inside. Police were called to maintain law and order and they were deployed outside the club, the Pakistani newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, both groups started raising slogans against each other which led to a brawl. A couple of journalists sustained injuries, including cuts and bruises, while others were seen trying to resolve the dispute, Dawn reported.

It further reported, “separate complaints were lodged with Kohsar police. Police officials remained at the scene of the incident, standing as silent spectators and not even one tried to defuse the situation”.

A spokesperson for the police said “officials remained neutral as allegations of assisting one of the groups during the election were already levelled against them. No action has so far been taken.”

Earlier on Sunday, The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) released a report to highlight how press freedom deteriorated in 2021 as compared to the previous two years in Pakistan.

In the report titled “Pakistan Media Freedom Report – 2021”, CPNE said in 2021 alone, five journalists were killed in the line of duty, including Karachi-based social media activist and community journalist Nazim Jokhio, who was abducted and killed mercilessly.

The report also said that Pakistan is one of the countries, where violence against journalists is increasing and not even a single murderer has been brought to justice.

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