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French Journalists and their arrest in Pakistan

12 January, 2004

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Police in Pakistan arrested two French Journalists, Mr. Marc Epstein and Mr. Jean Paul who work for L'Express magazine in France. Later on court suspended arrest orders and accepted their bail petition filed by the defense attorney. They wre arrested for illegally visiting a sensitive border town of Quetta near Pak-Afghan border. A local journalist Syed Khawar Mehdi aiding the two men was also arrested and is still in custody. The maximum punishment under respective charge is a 3-year rigorous imprisonment, besides fine.

They are also allegedly involved in making a video showing fake Taliban guerillas getting arms training within Pakistans territory. Pakistan Television (PTV) also ran a story showing clips from the making of their documentary, and how the local tribesmen were paid to wear turbans and act like Taliban.

1- If found guilty, would a severe Punishment stop such journalists in future to malign Pakistan with fake documentaries ?

2- Is western media, in general, bias towards projection of Pakistan ?

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