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Pakistani Police Arrest Journalist on Unspecified Charges


Pakistani journalist Mohsin Baig flashes a victory sign as he leaves after his court appearance, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 16, 2022.

Police arrested a prominent Pakistani journalist and government critic at his home on unspecified charges on Wednesday, his colleagues and local media said.

Mohsin Baig, editor for the news outlet Online, had just days earlier suggested on a TV talk show that Prime Minister Imran Khan had showed favoritism by granting an award to a government minister with whom he has a close friendship.

Khan had ranked Minister for Communication Murad Saeed as the top performer among his Cabinet. Saeed lodged a complaint against Baig to federal authorities following the comments, according to the information ministry.

Baig's family told reporters that police and officials from a federal investigation agency raided his house in the capital, Islamabad, Wednesday morning and took him away without giving any reason for the arrest.

Baig's arrest drew condemnation from Pakistani journalists on social media. Witnesses say police were still present at Baig's home, although no other details were immediately available.

The government gave no immediate comment.

Pakistan has long been an unsafe country for journalists. In 2020, it ranked ninth on the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual Global Impunity Index, which assesses countries where journalists are regularly killed and the assailants go free.

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