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Media Bodies Condemn Karachi Journalist’s Conviction For Possessing ‘Anti-State’ Literature

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The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) have condemned the conviction of senior journalist Nasrullah Chaudhry for allegedly possessing ‘anti-state’ literature.

An anti-terrorism court has awarded five-year imprisonment to journalist Nasrullah Chaudhry for possessing anti-state literature and for spreading religious hatred.

According to a statement issued by the PFUJ and KUJ, the counter-terrorism department of Karachi police raided the house of Nasrullah Chaudhry and arrested him in early November, claiming to have recovered ‘banned literature’. The move was termed by the journalist bodies as an attempt to justify the raid and arrest.

According to a report in Dawn, Nasrullah was in possession of journals and booklets about Afghan Jihad and the Punjabi Taliban, which allegedly contained material intended to create sectarian discord and motivate people for jihad.

Nasrullah was kept in illegal confinement for the next three days, which resulted in protests and condemnation from international organisations, including Reporters Without Borders and International Federation of Journalists.

The statement also noted that the government, through law enforcement agencies and other tactics, including torture, threats and harassment, has been trying to pressure the journalists with impunity.

The statement said that several journalists had been abducted, tortured and implicated in false cases in the recent past by different state institutions in an attempt to suppress the freedom of expression.

The statement also noted that several journalists had been booked under terrorism charges in Sindh in recent weeks.

Moreover, the PFUJ and the KUJ has vowed to continue its struggle for freedom of press despite all illegal tactics of the government.

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