A highly respected reporter for Norway’s national commercial channel TV2 was vowing to carry on his work this week, despite being arrested in Pakistan, beaten by Pakistani police and thrown into jail. Kadafi Zaman was released on bail and had no intention of halting his coverage of the upcoming Pakistani election on July 25.
“Now I’m even more fired up to document what’s happening here,” Zaman told his own TV station after his release. “I have no thought of getting on a flight (home to Norway) even though I was beaten.” He said he was determined to continue reporting on the election and how it’s carried out.
Norway has a large Pakistani community where interest in the election is high. Zaman was arrested during what police called an “illegal demonstration” in Gujrat, northeastern Pakistan. Zaman claimed he witnessed police brutality first-hand, and that Pakistani police “should be ashamed” of their excessive use of force, both against participants at a political event and himself as a member of the press.
TV2 officials called the arrest and beating of Zaman a “brutal attack on freedom of the press and a Norwegian journalist.” An official at Pakistan’s embassy in Oslo told newspaper Aftenposten that embassy staff was seeking an explanation from authorities in Gujrat. First Secretary Zaib Abbasi informed authorities in Pakistan that Zaman was a well-known reporter in Norway. She said that Zaman was charged along with others of assaulting police but that the embassy would not justify what happened to Zaman.