Last updated on October 18, 2019
KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) — Police at Pakistan’s Lahore airport refused entrance to the Asia organizer of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), stating his name had been on blacklist handled by the Ministry of Interior, a statement by the New York-based firm stated.
An immigration officer in Lahore’s international airport advised Steven Butler his journalist visa was legal, but it had been voided because his title was”to a stop record of the Interior Ministry”, the CPJ announcement quoted Butler as saying.
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior Ministry didn’t react to Reuters calls seeking comment.
Pakistan’s media has had a tumultuous relationship with consecutive governments and the effective military over several decades. Some in the press complained of a serious crackdown from the run-up into the 2018 general election which saw Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI celebration sweep to power.
The CPJ was critical of what it states will be government moves to suppress press freedom in Pakistan and has been devoting announcement’s demanding an end to a crackdown on the network.
When he came to Doha, he had been put on a trip to Washington D.C.
Butler, who conveyed with the JCP whilst in-flight, stated he had been at a sort of”restricted custody”, together with the flight team in possession of his passport and boarding pass,” said that the CPJ.
“The Pakistani government’ move to obstruct Steven Butler from going into the nation is baffling and is a smack in the face to people worried about media freedom in the nation,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director, in the announcement.
“Pakistani governments should give a complete explanation of the decision to bar Butler from entering and fix this mistake,” the announcement added.