Karachi, Feb 15 (PTI) Five officials of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) were suspended after a popular television presenter and journalist accused them of torturing him and his crew members for trying to expose alleged corruption in their ranks, media reports said on Tuesday.
Syed Iqrarul Hassan, 37, host of an investigative crime show “Sar-e-Aam,” aired on ARY news channel, in which he conducts sting operations to expose corruption in different strata of society.
He explained that an IB officer was taking bribes at the gate of the agency’s office and “we tried to report him to the high-ups, but senior IB officer Rizwan Shah manhandled our team and kept beating us.” “I got almost 8-10 stitches on my head and my shoulder was dislocated due to the torture,” he claimed.
Hassan’s ordeal came to light when photos and video of him with bruises and torn clothes and receiving treatment in hospital began doing the rounds on social media.
According to the Dawn newspaper, Deputy Director General IB Iftikhar Nabi Tunio said that the five IB officials were being suspended “for mistreatment of ARY News team and mishandling the situation.” The suspended officers were Syed Mohinuddin Rizwan (Director, BPS-19), Mehmoob Ali and Inam Ali, both stenotypists, Rajab Ali (sub-inspector) and Khawar, the report said.
“I am thankful to the federal government for taking prompt action and suspending five officers involved in the incident,” Hassan added.
The incident is another grim reminder of The International Federation of Journalists’ list, which puts Pakistan among the top five countries as “the most dangerous places in the world” to practice journalism.
In 2021, Pakistan’s press freedom rank dropped to 145 out of 180 countries in the Press Freedom Index, an annual ranking of countries published by Reporters Without Borders, an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to safeguarding the right to freedom of information. PTI CORR VM VM VM
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