October 18, 2019
LAHORE — Immigration authorities at the Allama Iqbal International Aiport denied permission to an official of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) to enter Pakistan.
The officials told Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia Program Coordinator his visa was valid, but his name was on a stop list of the interior ministry.
CPJ reported that the authorities confiscated Butler’s passport and forced him onto a flight to Doha, from where he was placed on a plane to Washington D.C.
CPJ’s Executive Director Joel Simon said: "Pakistani authorities’ move to block Steven Butler from entering the country is baffling and is a slap in the face to those concerned about press freedom in the country."
He called on the Pakistani authorities to give a full explanation of their decision to bar Butler from entering and correct this error. “If the government is interested in demonstrating its commitment to a free press, it should conduct a swift and transparent investigation into this case.”
Butler had planned to participate in the Asma Jahangir Conference — Roadmap for Human Rights in Pakistan.
Photo courtesy: CPJ
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