From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ), has strongly condemned the harassment of a female journalist, Fatima Razzaq, who was covering Baloch protesters in Islamabad as reported by the Balochistan Post.

Latestly, a digital information website, cited the Asian News International (ANI) to have reported that the CPJ stated that five plainclothes gunmen forcibly detained a female journalist while she was waiting for her bus in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.

“The accused (Police) kept Fatima Razzaq in custody at gunpoint for forty minutes and asked her various questions about the activities of the Baloch Yakjetti Committee (BYC) in Islamabad and harassed her,” the CPJ said in a statement.

According to CPJ, “the persons demanded the journalist’s camera, which the journalist refused to hand over. Then they took the mobile phone of the female journalist and started looking for things and then damaged the mobile phone.”

CPJ further called on the government to ensure the safety of journalists so that they can cover the protest without fear or hindrance.

“Notably, during the coverage of the Baloch Yekjetti Committee’s sit-in protest against the “Baloch Genocide” in Islamabad, a female journalist, Somaiyah Hafeez, was also detained by the Islamabad police.

“Additionally, several other journalists were under severe criticism by the government authorities, as reported by the Balochistan Post.

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“Senior Pakistani journalist and columnist, Hamid Mir, posted on social media that another journalist, Somaiyah Hafeez, was also arrested by Islamabad police the same day.

“Earlier, as the seven-day ultimatum given by the Baloch Yekjehti Committee (BYC) ended on Wednesday, Baloch activist Mahrang Baloch, announced that a protest camp would be set up in front of the United Nations (UN) offices, Pakistan-based Dawn reported,” Latestly reported.

Moreover, social media activist Fazila Baloch, took to her social media X, stating that despite Mahrang Baloch facing prison and being tortured, she never gave up and stressed, “She is true leader.”

“They wanted to control her voice, but she returned in millions. She herself faced prison, torture but she never gave up, as a human she is a real activist and as a Baloch she is true leader. Brave daughter of Balochistan Dr Mahrang,” Fazila said.

The decision of the Islamabad High Court after increased police activity around the Baloch protest camp sparked concerns about a potential crackdown.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mahrang Baloch said that the seven-day deadline given to the government for the recovery of missing persons had ended, however, relevant authorities have not given any response.

Meanwhile, in the wake of ongoing protests in Balochistan, a complete shutter down strike on Wednesday was observed in multiple areas of Pakistan against the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of Baloch people, the Yakjethti Committee said on Wednesday.