The Intelligence Bureau (IB) suspends officials for the assault and torture of television presenter and journalist Iqrar-ul-Hassan and his team.
According to the notification issued by IB Sindh Provincial Headquarters, the five officials involved have been suspended under rule 5 (1) and (2) of Government Servants (Efficiency & Disciplinary) Rules for mistreatment of the journalist and his team.
IB officials allegedly tortured Iqrar-ul-Hassan for exposing the corruption along with video evidence of an IB inspector. To clarify, Iqrar-ul-Hassan and his team were shooting a segment for his popular show Sar-e-Aam which is an investigative crime TV show. The team caught an officer taking bribes and went to the Director of IB to complain about the corrupt officer. However, the IB officials launched an attack on the team.
The journalist was immediately shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medical attention as he received injuries and also dislocated his shoulder. Fortunately, after medical attention, doctors say that he is out of danger.
He was tortured by IB team. Six officers are suspended immediately. pic.twitter.com/PaeAZqDhtY
— Shama Junejo (@ShamaJunejo) February 14, 2022
According to details, as told by Iqrar-ul-Hassan himself, the officials stripped him and his team naked. Furthermore, they detained them for 3 hours, beat them, and tortured them with electric shocks. Iqrar-ul-Hassan also revealed that the officials made their videos while torturing them. They then threatened to leak the videos if they exposed the officials.
Reacting to the incident, Iqrar-ul-Hassan said he is going through severe trauma. However, he asserted that instead of instilling fear, the incident made him more steadfast.
Social media condemns attack on Iqrar-ul-Hassan
The incident sparked mass outrage and is among the top trends on social media. Political leaders as well as the public have condemned the violence and called for the immediate arrest of those who attacked the Sar e Aam team.
Provincial Minister of Sindh for Local Governments, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah condemned the incident on behalf of his ministry.
“Anchor Iqarul Hassan was tortured in the office of a federal agency in Karachi today. We condemn it,” the Minister tweeted.
اینکر اقرار الحسن پر آج کراچی میں واقع ایک وفاقی ادارے کے دفتر میں تشدد کیا گیا ۔ ہم اس کی مذمت کرتے ہیں۔ اے آر وائ کے مطابق ایک وفاقی ادارے کے ہانچ افسران کو معطل کردیا گیا ہے اس واقعے کے بعد۔
— Syed Nasir Hussain Shah (@SyedNasirHShah) February 14, 2022
Meanwhile, PTI MNA Aamir Liaquat Husain urged PM Imran Khan to take notice of the incident.
“The worst treatment and immoral behaviour with @iqrarulhassan is not bearable but reprehensible and shameful. I am requesting to my Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI to take notice of the incident and determine those responsible,” Aamir Liaquat tweeted.
On the other hand, the journalistic community raised concerns over the treatment of journalists in Pakistan.
I wholeheartedly condemn the attack on TV journalist @iqrarulhassan during his recording, an attack on Iqrar is an attack on journalism! Strict action needs to be taken on the perpetrators, a precedent needs to be set for the safety of journalists in Pakistan.#iqrarulhassan pic.twitter.com/9mcaKOfUht
— Zain Khan (@ZKhanOfficial) February 14, 2022