Tag Archives: Wagar Kiani

Guardian journalist beaten in Pakistan

A journalist working for the Guardian in Pakistan has been badly beaten by men in police uniforms, according to the newspaper.

According to the report, Waqar Kiani, a 32-year-old local journalist, was stopped while driving through Islamabad and beaten with wooden batons and a whip.

The alleged attack follows an account, written by Kiani and published five days before the attack, of torture and abduction by suspected Pakistani intelligence agencies.

The attackers then reportedly said: “You want to be a hero? We’ll make you a hero”, and: “We’re going to make an example of you.”

Kiana told the Guardian: “I don’t feel I did anything wrong. Journalists can’t be silent forever in Pakistan,” he said. “If we don’t bring up the facts, then it’s no longer journalism – we become spokesmen of the government.”

This is the second time that Kiani has been targeted, according to the Guardian, which reported last week that he was abducted from central Islamabad in July 2008 and taken to a safe house where interrogators beat him viciously and burned him with cigarettes.

Pakistan was rated by the CPJ as the deadliest county for journalists in 2010, with eight confirmed killings. The country continues to be dangerous: Reporters Without Borders said in March this year that 13 journalists had been killed in the previous 13 months.

Earlier this month, Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, who was investigating links between the military and al Quaeda before his death, disappeared. He was found dead two days later.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has been widely accused of being behind the death but has fiercely denied any involvement.

Two young Pakistani journalists, Shafiullah Khan and Abid Naveed, died after a double bombing in Peshawar on 11 June.

Related:

Journalists deaths in Pakistan prompt calls for urgent safety measures

Threatened by war and abandoned by employers, Pakistan’s journalists won’t back down

Pakistan’s first woman photojournalist: inspired by the husband she lost to war