(RSF/IFEX) - The following is a 6 February 2002 RSF press release:
Daniel Pearl held in custody for two weeks
Journalist Daniel Pearl is already into his third week of custody. Reporters Sans Frontières is pleased with the progress of the investigation into the abduction of the Wall Street Journal correspondent, which took place on Wednesday 23 January 2002. "We all hope that the arrest of at least three new suspects who might be behind the e-mails that included photographs of the American journalist will quickly lead to the release of Daniel Pearl," declared Robert Ménard, RSFâs secretary-general. "To that end, the Pakistani authorities must continue using all the resources at their disposal and should not ignore any leads," Mr. Ménard added.
The organisation for the defence of press freedom appeals to the kidnappers again for the release of Daniel Pearl, who cannot rightfully be accused of spying and thus serve as a scapegoat for United States policy.
On February 5, the Pakistani police arrested at least three men in a house in Karachi, where e-mails containing the kidnappers' demands and photographs of Daniel Pearl were allegedly sent, including the photograph featuring him with a gun pointed at his head. In addition, the police have confirmed that Sheikh Omar, one of the leaders of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad movement, a fundamentalist organisation supporting the Kashmir separatistsâ fight, is the principal suspect in the kidnapping of the journalist.
On February 7, the European Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on tensions in South Asia which will include an amendment in support of Daniel Pearl's release.
Reporters Sans Frontières have collected all the details on the circumstances of Daniel Pearl's abduction and the actions in support of his release in an online dossier at www.rsf.org. It is updated daily.