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Travel ban lifted for Pakistani journalist

Featured Pakistan journalist Cyril Almeida Pakistan journalist Cyril Almeida

Goodwill gesture release

Pakistan authorities have removed the travel ban on Cyril Almeida, a columnist and reporter for the Dawn newspaper, as a “goodwill gesture” following a meeting with media representatives.

The International Federation of Journalists supported the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) is calling for the authorities to lift the ban on Almeida who was  prevented from leaving his South Asia country to travel to Dubai for a family vacation.

The IFJ demanded the ban be immediately lifted, and that freedom of movement be guaranteed for all media workers in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said in a statement he had agreed to remove Almeida’s name from the travel ban list as a “goodwill gesture” following a meeting with media representatives.

In a statement on Friday, the interior ministry said an ongoing leak inquiry would “continue to its logical conclusion”.

In August, two cameramen, Shehzad Ahmed and Mehmood Khan , were among at least 70 people killed in a bomb blast at a civil hospital in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province of Pakistan. Another reporter for Dunya News, Fareed Ullah, was seriously injured.

Almeida who worked for Dawn was informed that he had been placed on Pakistan’s Exit Control List (ECL), which barred select individuals from leaving the country. Almeida was booked to Dubai but was told that he should not go to the airport as he would not be allowed to board the plane.  

The ban was in apparently in response to a controversial story penned by Almeida and published on the front page of Dawn on Thursday October 6 entitled, “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military”.

The IFJ said journalists and media workers should be guaranteed free movement and called on the government to investigate the embargo, and outline clear processes to ensure situations like this did not arise in the future. 

 

 

Last modified onFriday, 21 October 2016 23:24