Gilgit journalists complain of mistreatment
15 August 2007
Gilgit: Presidents of the Gilgit Union of Journalists and the Gilgit Press Club have condemned the treatment meted out to over a dozen journalists by the officials of the Northern Areas administration on Tuesday in the Babusar Valley. GUJ president Imtiaz Ali Taj and GPC president Khurshid Ahmed in their separate statements said that journalists from Gilgit were invited by the Northern Areas administration to cover the polo tournament and festival in the hilly Babusar area in Diamer district but they were denied accommodation and other facilities in the remote area. They said as soon as the journalists reached the venue, which is 170kms south of Gilgit, the administration provided a ‘seedy room’ in a government rest house with two beds to 13 journalists. They said during the night the journalists were asked to vacate their room by a junior magistrate of Diamer district saying that they wanted to accommodate the deputy commissioners of Ghizer and Gangche districts who had come to watch the festival on public expenses. The journalists resisted the move as they had no shelter and it was raining. “But they were forcibly evicted by throwing their luggage outside the room. The camera of ARY TV was smashed during the incident,” they said. They added that it was unfortunate that the regional administration insulted the journalists who had gone there on their invitation. The journalists lodged their protest and boycotted the coverage of the events there.