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Pakistan journalist accuses minister of wedding assault

June 17, 2019

A popular Pakistan broadcast journalist said Monday he had officially complained to police about being assaulted by a government minister, who responded by saying it was “an unfortunate incident”.

Sami Ibrahim, an anchor and executive with the private Bol News TV channel, said he was attacked by science and technology minister Fawad Chaudhry at a wedding Friday in Faisalabad.

“He slapped me, used abusive language, and threatened me with dire consequences,” Ibrahim told police in a written complaint seen by AFP.

Police in Faisalabad confirmed receiving the complaint.

Chaudhry, a former information minister in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet, told Neo News that Ibrahim had “misbehaved” by previously calling him an “Indian spy”.

“That incident shouldn’t have happened but it did, unfortunately,” Chaudry told Neo News.

“He came across me and misbehaved again and then it happened,” he added.

Pakistan routinely ranks among the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers and reporters have frequently been detained, beaten and even killed for being critical of the government or powerful military.

Chaudhry was appointed science and technology minister in April.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.