French reporters want Pakistani colleague freed
PARIS: Two French journalists freed from jail in Pakistan appealed on Wednesday for the release of their Pakistani colleague, whom they have not heard from since their arrest in December.
Back in France after their release by a Pakistani court on Monday, the two journalists said they suspected their colleague, Khawar Mehdi Rizvi, was being held in secret.
The three were arrested for visiting a Pakistani city near the Afghan border without permission.
“We want him to be released,” Marc Epstein told a news conference. “Khawar Mehdi did nothing other than work as a journalist. In this regard any accusation of revolt, of damaging Pakistan’s image, or of betrayal, is miles from the truth.”
Epstein said it was common for foreign journalists to travel within Pakistan beyond areas they had permission to visit.
“We have the impression it was important to the Pakistani authorities to make an example,” Epstein said. “I think the Pakistani authorities are trying to put off several generations of journalists who want to take on a venture like ours.” He also said he thought the Pakistani authorities wanted to stop local journalists working with foreign correspondents. —Reuters