Asad Ali Toor, journalist, assaulted outside his home

Asad Ali Toor

Asad Ali Toor, a journalist who produces a programme for Aaj News, was beaten by unidentified assailants outside his home in Sector F-10, Islamabad, on Tuesday.

The wounded journalist was taken to a nearby hospital, where his condition was described as stable.

Asad alleged that the assailants had questioned him about his source of income and urged him not to comment against “state institutions” in a video message posted on his social media account after the event.

The situation has been brought to the attention of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who has requested an investigation by the Islamabad police.

Asad was also charged in a FIR filed last year, alleging that he used social media to spread anti-Pakistan propaganda.

The Lahore High Court, however, cleared Asad of the charges when the FIA police informed the court that no proof supporting the allegations had been uncovered.

The Pakistan Human Rights Commission (HRCP) has condemned the incident and demanded the government to secure journalist safety.

“HRCP strongly condemns the brutal assault on journalist Asad Toor by three unknown men who barged into his residence. We see it as yet another attack on freedom of expression and a free press. HRCP demands that the authorities apprehend and charge the assailants immediately,” Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission said in a tweet.

The incident has renewed worries about the deterioration of media freedom in Pakistan, which is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. Another notable journalist has shot outside his house in Islamabad a few weeks ago.

Pakistan was placed 145th out of 180 nations for media freedom in the Press Freedom Index’s 2020 assessment.

Several affluent personalities condemned the attack.

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