to go further Follow the news on Pakistan Organisation June 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire Help by sharing this information News News January 12, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 French reporters’ jail sentence reduced to a fine January 28, 2021 Find out more Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) welcome an appeal court decision in Pakistan to reduce the sentence against French journalists Marc Epstein and Jean-Paul Guilloteau from six months in jail to a fine, but called for the release of their Pakistani colleague Khawar Mehdi Rizvi.The High Court in Karachi on 12 January imposed a fine, equivalent to 2,700 euros, on the two journalists from the French weekly L’Express. The fine replaced the jail term handed down two days earlier, for breaking the Foreigners Act 1946 by travelling to the border region of Quetta in Baluchistan, western Pakistan without special permission. The journalists were to have their passports returned and leave the country on 13 January.The international press freedom organisation welcomed the decision of the Sindh High Court but added, “We hope that this case will not discourage the foreign press from continuing to report, while respecting Pakistani law, on the situation in the border areas with Afghanistan.””This ruling also acquits Pakistani journalist Khawar Mehdi Rizvi, who because of his nationality committed no crime by travelling to the Quetta region,” said Reporters Without Borders, in a letter to the foreign minister Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri. “We ask you to release him without delay.”The lawyer for the two journalists had managed to obtain an emergency appearance before the high court, in front of Judge Zawar Hussain Jaffry on 12 January. The high court’s advocate general, representing the state, made no objection to the court’s verdict. Marc Epstein told Agence France-Presse: “We are very happy and relieved”.Rizvi, who was working with the journalists from L’Express on the report in the Quetta region, has been held at an unknown location since 16 December. The authorities should respond to the Sindh high court on 13 January to a habeas corpus petition entered by his lawyer Abid Saqi. According to some sources he is being held in the offices of the military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad. The authorities refuse to give any information about him although he has been shown three times on national public PTV television. The channel has also broadcast fabricated interviews with people attempting to show that the three journalists set up a faked report from Baluchistan, on the Afghan border.Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf personally cast doubt on the professional qualities of Rizvi on 29 December. He told representatives of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society: “This freelance journalist has done terrible harm to the national interest in making this fake film on the Taliban and for only 2,000 dollars. If he had come to me I would have been able to give him 3,000 dollars not to make this film.”The three journalists were arrested on 16 December 2003 in Karachi just after completing a report on Taliban groups at the border with Afghanistan. The High Court in Karachi cut the six-month prison sentences passed onFrench journalists Marc Epstein and Jean-Paul Guilloteau to fines. They were to have their passports returned and leave the country on 13 January. Their Pakistani colleague Khawar Mehdi Rizvi was still being held in secret and Reporters Without Borders called for his release. PakistanAsia – Pacific News Receive email alerts News April 21, 2021 Find out more PakistanAsia – Pacific
Ghanaian midfielder, Michael Essien has shared a video of himself keeping fit after football in Azerbaijan was suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak across the globe.Essien, 37, currently plies his trade for FK Sabail, while doubling as coach for the club’s U-19 side.Azerbaijan, just like a number of countries across the globe have suspended all sporting activities after cases of COVID-19 reached pandemic levels in the last month.The country has recorded 34 cases of Coronavirus, with six persons reported to have recovered.The 37-year-old shared a video on Instagram in which he was involved in some training routines to keep himself fit.“Don’t stay at home and do nothing. Still keep that body moving,” he captioned the video.Essien has made 10 appearances in all competitions for Sabail this season, having joined the club on March 16, 2019.Below is the video of Essien keeping himself fit:
Source: BBC Former Fifa executives took bribes in return for voting for Russia and Qatar to host the World Cup, according to US prosecutors.In what could be a highly significant twist in the FBI’s long-running investigation into allegations of football corruption, a new indictment was revealed in the US District Court on Monday.The documents claim several former Fifa executive committee members “were offered or received bribes in connection with their votes”.The Department of Justice makes allegations against Nicolas Leoz, the former president of South American governing body Conmebol, and ex-Brazil federation supremo Ricardo Teixeira.Both are accused of taking money “in exchange for their votes in favour of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup”.Disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago was also allegedly paid £4m through a host of offshore shell companies to back Russia’s 2018 bid.Russia beat England to win the right to host the most recent World Cup in 2018. Warner was president of the North and Central American and Caribbean confederation Concacaf.Another former Fifa ExCo member – Guatemala football chief Rafael Salguero – was allegedly promised a bribe to vote for Russia.Leoz died last year under house arrest in his native Paraguay, having fought extradition to the US. Teixeira has been banned from the game for life by Fifa for taking bribes for marketing and media rights for football competitions between 2006 and 2012.Teixeira and Warner, who is also banned for life, have avoided extradition to the US. Salguero was banned last year, having admitted corruption.Former executives at US television giant 21st Century Fox have also been charged in the indictment with making payments to South American football officials to secure broadcast rights.“The profiteering and bribery in international soccer have been deep-seated and commonly known practices for decades,” said FBI assistant director-in-charge William Sweeney.“The FBI… are investigating the illicit handshakes and backroom deals hidden in the infrastructure of soccer events, venues and marketing contracts.“The first public charges date back to 2015. This should illustrate to everyone still hoping to score millions corruptly, we’re going to find you.”What is the background?Almost 10 years have now passed since Fifa controversially voted for Russia and Qatar to host the sport’s showpiece event.But it was only in 2015, following a dramatic dawn raid at a Zurich hotel close to the governing body’s headquarters, that the US Department of Justice announced it was investigating football and TV executives enriching themselves through the game.The scandal sparked the worst crisis in Fifa’s history, with its disgraced president Sepp Blatter eventually standing aside.A total of 42 people have been indicted, with 26 pleading guilty.How important could this be?With Russia staging its World Cup almost two years ago, the focus of the potential impact of these fresh allegations will be on Qatar as it enters the final phase of preparations for the event.This is not the first time officials have been accused of corruption linked to the Gulf state’s bid during the sprawling FBI probe.In 2017 Alejandro Burzaco, a former TV executive, told a jury in New York that Leoz, Teixeira – and the now former Argentina football chief Julio Grondona – had been paid to vote for Qatar, which beat the US in the vote.But never before have US prosecutors formally laid out in such detail how the alleged corruption was conducted.However, the indictment does not specify who was behind the alleged bribery.Despite years of suspicion over how they won the vote, Qatar and Russia have always denied any wrongdoing, and both were effectively cleared by Fifa’s own investigation in 2017.But Fifa may find itself under renewed pressure to reopen an inquiry into how the votes were won.The Qatar organising committee and Fifa have been approached for comment.