Journalist Imran Riaz ‘arrested’ from Lahore airport

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Individuals in plain clothes detained senior journalist while he was departing to Saudi Arabia for Hajj

KARACHI:
Anchorperson Imran Riaz Khan was apprehended at Lahore airport in the early hours of Wednesday as he was departing to Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage, his lawyer Advocate Azhar Siddique stated.

“He was arrested by unidentified individuals accompanied by law enforcement personnel,” Siddique disclosed, noting a scuffle occurred during the incident.

“Imran Riaz has been granted bail in all the cases registered against him,” stated the anchorperson’s counsel.

Following this, Siddique filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking clarification on the first information report (FIR) under which Riaz was detained. The petition is pending before a bench for hearing.

According to the filed petition, Riaz was about to leave for Hajj when “several plainclothes officers from different authorities arrived and arrested him without explanation” and then “transferred him to an undisclosed location”.

“No information has been provided regarding the FIR used for the applicant’s arrest on the night of 11.06.2024, hence, it is necessary for the respondents to appear before this court and disclose which FIRs have been filed against the applicant, leading to his unlawful and arbitrary arrest,” it stated.

The petition also mentioned that Riaz’s name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) on Tuesday.

The plea requested the court to accept the petition and direct the police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Secretary Interior, and the Anti-Corruption Establishment to present details of the FIR under which the anchorperson was apprehended.

On June 3, Imran Riaz was reportedly stopped from boarding a flight to depart for Hajj pilgrimage at the Islamabad airport. Imran later decided to take the matter to the court.

Earlier this year, Riaz was arrested in a corruption case regarding the Dhrabi Lake contract in Chakwal and later granted bail by a special court. However, he was rearrested in another case related to violence outside PTI founder Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence.

On March 10, an anti-terrorism court granted him post-arrest bail against surety bonds worth Rs200,000.

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