Demonstrators besiege Pakistan newspaper second time in a week

1 / 2
People look a pile of burning copies of a newspaper 'Dawn' setting on fire by angry protester during a demonstration outside newspaper's office in Islamabad, Pakistan on Friday. (AP)
2 / 2
Angry protesters hold a demonstration against an independent newspaper 'Dawn' outside newspaper's office in Islamabad, Pakistan on Friday. (AP)
Updated 06 December 2019

Demonstrators besiege Pakistan newspaper second time in a week

  • The protesters on Tuesday had also surrounded the newspaper’s building and criticized an earlier anti-newspaper protest
  • Abbas said police were alerted and he was seeking protection for the staff and building

ISLAMABAD: Dozens of protesters briefly besieged the office of a well-known independent newspaper in Islamabad, chanting slogans against the editor and staff and setting fire to copies of the paper before fleeing.
Friday’s protest was the second incident this week at the offices of the English-language Dawn newspaper. It comes a day after journalists and rights activists rallied in support of the paper and criticized an earlier anti-newspaper protest.
The protesters Tuesday had also besieged the newspaper’s building, demanding that editor Zaffar Abbas and publisher Hameed Haroon be hanged for reporting that the London Bridge attacker was of “Pakistani origin.”
Abbas went on Twitter to condemn what he says was yet another orchestrated demonstration against the paper. He said police were alerted and he was seeking protection for the staff and building.
It was unclear exactly who was behind the protests and authorities have made no arrests in connection with the increasing threats to the newspaper. Dawn has a history of bitter relations with the country’s powerful military.


Britain, France and Germany summon Iran ambassadors over detention of dual citizens

Updated 24 September 2020

Britain, France and Germany summon Iran ambassadors over detention of dual citizens

  • Britain’s foreign office summoned the Iranian ambassador to the UK on Tuesday to meet senior officials
  • France is trying to secure the release of French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelka who was arrested in 2018

LONDON: Britain, France and Germany are summoning Iranian ambassadors in a diplomatic protest against the Islamic Republic’s detention of dual nationals and the harsh treatment that political prisoners endure.
Britain’s foreign office summoned the Iranian ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad on Tuesday to meet senior officials, The Guardian reported. A letter handed to the ambassador seen by the British newspaper said that Iran’s policy of arbitrary detention was seriously damaging its international standing.
The Iranian ambassadors in Paris and Berlin are also being summoned this week.
The coordinated protest against Iranian human rights abuses is the first of its kind by the three E3 countries and comes as concern grows over Iranian security forces increasing pressure on dual-national prisoners.
This includes British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe being told that she will face another trial after a new charge was brought against her.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe is nearing the end of her five-year sentence for spying charges. She was visited at her family home where she is under house arrest by Revolutionary Guards officers this week in an attempt to intimidate her, The Guardian reported.
France, meanwhile, is trying to secure the release of French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelka who was arrested in 2018. She has been moved from the notorious Evin prison to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center.
Britain also set out its concern about grave human rights abuses in Iran in the letter that was handed to Baeidinejad, The Guardian reported.
British citizens and dual nationals are suffering in Iranian prisons in harsh conditions and without justification, the letter said. It argued that they have been arbitrarily detained and deserve to be released and reunited with their families.
The letter also expressed concern about Iran’s repression of human rights activists and defenders inside the country, and its harassment of media and cultural organizations.