Dera Court Orders Criminal Case Against Doctors For ‘Torturing’ Dawn Reporter

FN Threat Data Analysis – March 2024

A local court in Dera Ismail Khan has ordered registration of First Information Report (FIR) against doctors of a public hospital in Dera Ismail Khan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as FOUR cases of different threat categories, including murder, assault, arrest and house attack, were documented during March 2024.

Documentation of threat cases against journalists is carried out through Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs Network programme, award-winning civil liberty and media watchdog organisation Freedom Network is managing since 2016.

Freedom Network is manning five safety hubs across Pakistan to monitor and document these violations and assist journalists at risks in partnership with five biggest press clubs of the country, including Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Islamabad and Peshawar.


Muhammad Sagheer, reporter of Khabrain Newspaper in Rahimyar Khan district in southern Punjab province, was murdered by unknown gunmen in Khanpur tehsil of the district on the evening of 14 March 2024.

Brother of the slain journalist Muhammad Jaleel told Freedom Network that the late reporter earlier “received death threats” and was also attacked by unknown gang previously. However, the reporter did not report the threat to the police.  Reports suggested the murder might be linked to “honour-killing.” The brother denies this impression.

Khabrain management had no information about threats to the deceased reporter. Local police are investigating the case.  No evidence of real motive of the murder is yet found.


Daily Markaz newspaper’s senior journalist Raja Waseem Abbasi was assaulted and his recordings deleted by officials on duty with Assistant Commissioner Pothwar Aneeq Anwar on March 15, outside the gate of the vegetable and fruits market in Islamabad.

Local administration officials were mistreating a fruit vender under the supervision of the official. When the reporter tried to cover this, he was manhandled and assaulted. The reporter’s mobile phone was forcibly taken away and subsequently deleted all videos he recorded before returned to him.


Pirwadhi Police arrested on 24 March 2024 The Nation newspaper’s crime reporter Israr Ahmed Rajput in Rawalpindi on charges related to his post on ‘X,’ formerly known as Twitter. According to reporter, the police had filed a case against him under Section 153A. He said that he had not only “deleted” the tweet with­in 30 to 40 minutes of its posting but also “apologized” to the Rawalpindi Police. Israr further mentioned that before registration of the case he had received a “friendly call” from the CPO’s PRO and the SHO of Pirwadhai, stating that the vid­eo was fake, which he had already deleted.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Rawalpindi Police stated in a press release that Rajput was arrested for “spreading false rumor” of a sensi­tive religious nature on social media. Police investigated the post and found it “false.”

Attacks on home/property/assets of journalists:

ARY News channel’s anchor and host Iqrarul Hasan and his family escaped unhurt after unidentified gunmen opened fire at his residence in the Defense area, Lahore, on 7 March 2024. Iqrar’s brother Israr said the attackers fired multiple shots at their house and fled the scene. The incident caused panic and fear among the residents of the neighborhood. Police and other law enforcement agencies reached the spot and cordoned off the area. Police found 9-mm pistol shells from the crime scene and started an investigation.

SP Cantt Owais Shafiq said that the police were examining the CCTV footage to identify and trace the culprits. This was not the first time that Iqrar’s house was targeted by armed assailants. Iqrar revealed that a similar attack had taken place a few days ago also.

Assault without injury (Manhandling):

A local court ordered registration of a criminal case against doctors six months after they had beaten up Dawn newspaper’s reporter Adil Waqar.

The journalist faced the young doctors’ wrath while he was covering protest by a family after the death of loved-one due to alleged negligence of doctors in the trauma center of a public hospital in Dera Ismail Khan. The journalist was tortured by members of the “Young Doctors Association.” President Adil Wazir led the torture and snatched mobile phone from the journalist also.

Adil moved the local court to seek legal justice against the accused and the court accepted his plea ordering registration of a criminal case, including 7ATA section also, against the accused. “I was doing my professional duty when I was made subject to this torture,” the reporter was quoted as saying after the court order. “I am relieved at the court order and hope will get justice.”

Threats, Attacks, and Harassment against Various Types of Media:

Four print and one TV journalist received these threats during March 2024.

Threat Actors Attacking and Harassing Journalists and Media:

Three state actor and two unknown actors were believed involved in these threats these journalists faced.

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