Pakistan blogger attacked, tortured inside his apartment

Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor
Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor, centre, who was beaten and injured by three unidentified men in an attack, speaks during a demonstration called by journalists union to condemn the attack on journalists, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, May 28, 2021. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: An Islamabad-based blogger and journalist Asad Ali Toor was attacked and tortured by unidentified assailants inside his apartment.

Three men with masks attacked Toor, according to the First Investigation Report (FIR) registered with police, after they broke into his apartment on the night of May 25, and threatened him of dire consequences if he raised his voice.

Toor, who lives alone in his apartment, tried to resist but was forcibly moved to another room and tortured.

The incident comes barely a month after the attack on Absar Alam, senior anchorperson and ex-Chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). Absar Alam was shot and injured on April 20 while he was walking in a park near his house in Islamabad.

Police book three unidentified attackers

The Islamabad Police have booked three unidentified masked men on charges of storming into the apartment of Asad Ali Toor and subjecting him to severe torture.

A case was registered with Police Station (PS) Shalimar under sections 458/506ii/34 of Pakistan law against unidentified armed men on the application of Toor, they said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Qazi Jamilur Rehman has also constituted a special investigation team to probe the incident and submit a report, according to a police spokesman.

Journalists protest

Pakistan’s journalists unions and civil society, while condemning the attack on Asad Ali Toor, have held that the country in general and Islamabad in particular are no longer safe for journalists to work freely.

Incidentally, it was Asad Ali Toor who had first broken the news of the attack on Absar Alam on social media.

Both Asad Ali Toor and Absar Alam are critics of the government.

Last year in July, another journalist Matiullah Jan was kidnapped by unidentified men outside the school where he had dropped his wife, a teacher. He was released late in the night after the local and international community of journalists, diplomats took up the matter and condemned it on social media.

Matiullah Jan too has been criticising the government’s policies and is considered a strong anti-establishment voice. Islamabad police have not been able to trace the attackers.