Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada has expressed concern over the attack on award-winning photojournalist Stan Behal by a protestor in Toronto.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter commends the Toronto police for launching an investigation into this incident in response to the complaint filed by the journalist and also urged the Canadian government to be more active in taking action against violence on journalists and ensuring their safety.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Behal, a photojournalist who has been associated with the Toronto Sun for 36 years, was covering an anti-hate rally outside Toronto City Hall on August 11, when an unknown assailant jumped forward and hit him on the head before running off. Before the attack the man and other protestors were slating Behal and his co-worker, columnist Sue-Ann Levy.
Behal was taking photographs of the protestors when the incident happened. A number of police officers were also present on the spot, though video footage shows police officers witnessed the attack and did not intervene.
The video also showed Behal shouting, “Officer did you see that? Can you arrest him for assault?”
Toronto Police Service spokesperson told the Vancouver Sun that police is now investigating this incident.
Margaux Ewen, Director of RSF’s North America bureau said that, “A physical attack against one journalist can have a chilling effect on all journalists who wish to do their work without fear of violent repercussion, especially at protests”