- Pakistan News: After Dawn published a fake report about the ethnicity of the London Bridge attacker, Usman Khan, who killed two people last week, a group of unidentified people organized a protest outside the office of Dawn on Monday.
The protestors spent nearly three hours outside the building, holding banners and chanting slogans against Dawn. They surrounded the area and held the people of the staff hostage. They were not allowing the employees to enter or leave the building and demanded a written apology. Some protestors also misbehaved with the employees when they were entering the office.
Security personnel in the press center closed the gates to prevent the protesters from entering the premises before police and capital administration personnel arrived.
After lengthy negotiations with the management of Dawn in the presence of a deputy commissioner, the protesters finally agreed to stop the protest after issuing a warning.
However, leaders of different political parties including parliamentarians and journalists condemned the incident.
Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, Chairman of the Senate Human Rights Functional Committee, took notice of the surrounding of the Dawn offices by unidentified people and asked the Islamabad police inspector general to submit a report to the committee on the incident on December 6. He also requested detailed information on the police’s actions against those who besieged Dawn’s office.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) condemned the incident and said in a statement, “No one should be allowed to attack media outlets in the name of protest.” He also asked the government to take action against the people who attacked the building and promised to support the journalist fraternity.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, Information Secretary of PMLN demanded a high-level investigation of the incident so that the attackers can be identified and punished. She said in a statement that the people involved in the attack must be severely punished to set a precedent that can act as a deterrent in the future. She said, “Such actions are unacceptable in any civilized society.”
Ayub Malik, President of National Party (NP) called it an attack on the freedom of media. He also demanded the government to take strict action against the protestors for holding the employees of Dawn hostage. He suggested using video footages of the protest available on social media in order to identify the protestors.
Protest in Karachi:
A group of protestors also staged a protest against Dawn outside the Karachi Press Club. The protestors were holding banners and placards, which mentioned ‘Tehreek Tahaffuz-i-Pakistan Movement’ and ‘Boycott Indian Dawn’.
— Awalmir Khan (@KhanFarigh) December 3, 2019
— Awalmir Khan (@KhanFarigh) December 3, 2019
The protesters also threatened to siege the newsgroup’s offices if rapid measures are not taken against their management and other outlets of the media group for publishing false news.
Some People on Twitter including Journalists also condemned the incident.
Very simple question.Everyone have the right to criticise or condemn the headline of any newspaper but why these “patriots” who staged a protest against Dawn newspaper never disclosed their names and identity?Who rented these “unknown” protesters? https://t.co/yjUjvgPj9B
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) December 3, 2019
We condemn the attack on @Dawn_News Intimidating the press & accusing them of being traitors is a sign of small dictatorial minds with no understanding of how a free press works.These unidentified people represent a viscious undemocratic mindset that is against people of Pakistan
— AGHS Legal Aid Cell, Asma Jahangir's Law Firm (@Asma_Jahangir) December 3, 2019
Protest is absolutely legit but to be a pawn in the game only hurts all struggle in the way of free speech, press freedom & justice. Let's not create so much hatred & distance that we all end up suffering in the end. Dont agree w me but defend to the death my right to exist. pic.twitter.com/GunGFYmZPn
— Meher Bokhari (@meherbokhari) December 3, 2019
Two ministers publicly attacked Dawn for mentioning that the London attacker was of Pakistani descent, followed by a Twitter trend asking to boycott Dawn.
Now, a few dozen ‘protesters’ are at Dawn’s Islamabad offfice, accusing the media outlet of being ‘anti-state.’
— Umer Ali (@IamUmer1) December 2, 2019
People are coming out on streets to protest against dawn news(whichtheyevendon'tknowwhy) by saying it is spreading a propaganda. It is thier legitimate right to do so but by being a weapon to someone else illict intentions is jeopardizing the vent of media. "State of tribulation" https://t.co/kdlfmX91mL
— Zain Phulpotro (@ZPhulpotro) December 3, 2019
The protests outside the Dawn office are nothing but intimidation to silence a media house that has been at the forefront of quality journalism. Media in Pakistan is under attack and authorities are ignoring it like another drama they wish doesn't end. Hope everyone's safe #DAWN
— سید احمد شاہ (@Syed22i) December 2, 2019
Some people on Twitter also spoke in support of the protest.
— Donald J. Duck (@TheDonaldJDumb) December 2, 2019
I dont know what happened, but peace protest are their right. Anything other than that is not acceptable. We should organize mass protests against fake media, who redirects every bad to Pakistan. Including against people who sell their narratives on https://t.co/5a4a8msCUd.
— Sether Riaz (@riazsether) December 3, 2019
Dawn should fined on that nonsens Article and this is not the first time Down is damaging Pakistan's immage .?let the people practice thier right to protest and freedom of speech..
— Azeem Khan (@khanazeemkhan47) December 3, 2019
It's a peaceful protest just like other ones in our beloved country. So chill the fuck up and stand in solidarity with unbiased journalism. Kindly spread genuine news and dont make headlines and link terrorist who have no link with Pakistan… obey your true conscious not masters
— ابو رانيا (@dirty_jz) December 3, 2019