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Senior Journalist Arrested in Islamabad for Speaking Out Against Regime Change

Senior Journalist Imran Riaz Khan (@imranriazkhanpk) has been arrested by the Punjab Police near Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday July 5th 2022 at night despite having bail from the Chief Justice of High court.

Imran Riaz Khan was a renowned anchor on a National TV Channel but was removed after the regime change operation in Pakistan. Riaz continued his work as a reporter on social media where he is followed by more than 5 million people in Pakistan. Riaz is a strong dissident of what he calls an “Imported Government” referencing Pakistan’s new regime change. 

The last video released on his Youtube channel before his arrest went viral. In the video, he mentions the “Brigadier Rashid of ISI” and accuses the Pakistani establishment of interfering in the democratic process of Pakistan. In the video, he briefly says, “Maybe they will kill me.”

Several of his fellow journalists and peers on social media have appealed to the high court for his safe transfer. His arrest has become viral on social media and top trending on Twitter where messages and comments speak about Pakistan’s crackdown of dissenting voices. Some make stark connections with the “Operation Fair Play” event that overthrew the government of Prime MInister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on July 5th, 1977. Bhutto was later hanged to death. 

In a similar incident, a 73 year-oldwas exiting a private TV channel office in Lahore, Pakistan on Friday July 1st, 2022 and six unidentified suspects stopped his vehicle, assaulted him and tore off his clothes. The assailants tortured Ayaz Amir, dragged him out of his vehicle, and also snatched his mobile phone and wallet.  A columnist, former military officer and politician, Amir had spoken out against the regime change in a seminar hosted by the Islamabad high court bar association (IHCBA) where former PM Imran Khan was also addressed.

Wrangling already with a catastrophic economic crisis, Pakistan seems to be heading into more social unrest in its pursuit of crushing dissenting voices. 


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