Karachi judge refuses to release two L’Express journalists on bail

first_img Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder News PakistanAsia – Pacific A Karachi judge denied bail to French reporter Marc Epstein and photographer Jean-Paul Guilloteau. They were taken handcuffed to Karachi prison. The authorities are still refusing to provide any information about Khawar Mehdi Rizvi. April 21, 2021 Find out more News PakistanAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) deplored today’s decision by a Karachi judge to deny bail to French journalists Marc Epstein and Jean-Paul Guilloteau who, after appearing before the judge, were taken handcuffed to Karachi prison to await trial on charges of visiting the western Quetta region without permission.The Pakistani authorities are also still refusing to provide any information about Khawar Mehdi Rizvi, the Pakistani journalist who was working for Epstein and Guilloteau as their fixer and interpreter. Rizvi has been held in an undisclosed location since 16 December.Reporters Without Borders said it regretted the fact that the Pakistani authorities were taking no account of the statements made by the two French journalists and their lawyer. Epstein and Guilloteau simply crossed the Quetta region in order to enter Afghanistan and report on the activities of Taliban groups there.”Everyone knows that armed groups opposed to the Kabul government are active on the other side of the frontier,” the organisation said in a letter to Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali. “We regret that the Islamabad government impose this kind of sanction on foreign journalists who are just doing their job of providing information on this issue,” the organisation added, calling for the release of all three journalists.Nafees Siddiqi, the lawyer acting for Epstein and Guilloteau, said he would appeal to the Sindh High Court on 22 December against Judge Nuzhat Ara Hakvi’s refusal to release them on bail. Epstein (picture), a reporter, and Guilloteau, a photographer, work for the French news weekly L’Express. As a result of crossing the Quetta region without special permission, they are accused of violating the Foreigners Act of 1946 and face up to three years in prison.Together with their fixer Rizvi, they were returning from the Kandahar region of southern Afghanistan where they had been preparing a report on Taliban activities. Epstein told the judge that Pakistan would not have appeared in their report for L’Express.Rizvi has been held since 16 December in an unknown location in Karachi by the Federal Intelligence Agency. Rizvi’s name is not mentioned in Epstein’s and Guilloteau’s First Information Report (FIR) although he was working for them. Rizvi’s brother said in a press release yesterday that he had been trying for five days to get information about him and he expressed concern and protest about his “disappearance.”The Pakistani authorities accuse Rizvi of helping the L’Express team prepare a false report designed to discredit Pakistan’s international image. The newspaper Jang reported yesterday that an employee of a Rawalpindi mosque had also been arrested for “complicity” with Rizvi. News RSF_en Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Follow the news on Pakistan News December 20, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Karachi judge refuses to release two L’Express journalists on bail to go further Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation Help by sharing this information January 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more