Court grants two-day remand of journalist Nasrullah Khan Chaudhry

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KARACHI: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday rejected the plea of an Investigation Officer (IO) seeking a two-week physical remand of senior journalist and member of Karachi Press Club (KPC) Nasrullah Khan Chaudhry and directed the officials to present him before the court on 14 November along with a progress report.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of police produced the journalist before the court. The IO pleaded for a two-week physical remand of the journalist, on which, Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto questioned the allegations against the journalist and demanded reasons behind the IO’s plea for a remand.

The IO stated that a case pertaining to the recovery of proscribed literature had been registered against the journalist.

The counsel of the accused, Usman Farooq, said, “A journalist’s work is to collect news and meet with people,”

He added, “It was like a joke that a journalist is being accused for keeping material and meeting people”. He said that the IO had been lying to the court. His client was whisked away from his home two days back, further stating that local and international forums also raised their voice against the illegal custody.

Another advocate, Haider Imam Rizvi, told the court that an ATC case was registered due to the protest of journalists outside the governor house. He said, “We were also with Nasrullah Chaudhry and other journalists in this protest. Chaudhry is an honest and true journalist for which we give our testimony”.

Rizvi said that he regretted the arrest of senior journalist and leveling of fake allegations against him.

“Journalism of Pakistan is in danger due to the attack on KPC and the arrest of journalists” he said,

Earlier on Monday, Ghulam Fatima, the wife of senior journalist Nasrullah Chaudhry approached the Sindh High Court (SHC) over the disappearance of her husband.

Nasrullah Khan Chaudhry, a senior journalist associated with the newspaper Nai Baat was allegedly detained by law enforcement agencies during a raid on his home, according to Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ-Dastoor), a local media outlet reported.

The petitioner stated that Chaudhry was taken away on November 10, 2018 from his house situated in Soldier Bazaar area of the city. She informed that some plain-clothed men entered the house and forcibly took Chaudhry away. She asked that she should be informed as per law if there were any allegations or evidence against her husband.

Fatima said it was the illegal practice to keep anyone in custody more than 24 hours without any case or producing him before the court, adding that there was no any criminal record of her husband.

She said she was concerned that her husband would be framed in fake cases.

The counsel, Usman Farooq said, “It is a violation of law and constitution to not produce anyone before the court with 72 hours of detention”.