The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its deep concern for the safety of journalists in Pakistan after news of another journalist’s disappearance possibly at the hands of authorities.
Sindhi Daily Kawish correspondent, Mehruddin Mari, was last seen in Thatta on June 27, and according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), IFJ affiliate, there are fears Mari has been detained by intelligence agencies for unknown reasons.
“A worrying trend seems to be emerging in Pakistan of journalists disappearing at the hands of authorities,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
The news comes after two other journalists, Mukesh Rupeta, reporter for private TV channel GEO, and cameraman Sanjay Kumer were released after three months of illegal detention during which no contact was made with their colleagues or family. Their release came only days after the discovery of the body of another journalist, Hayatullah Khan, who had been missing for more than six months.
Protestors have held demonstrations in various parts of Sindh, including Thatta and Hyderabad, to express their anger at Mari’s disappearance.
“This news suggests the situation for journalists’ safety in Pakistan is further disintegrating, and recent events indicate there are very real concerns for the wellbeing of Mehruddin Mari,” Warren said.
“The kidnapping of journalists, especially by authorities who should be protecting them, is a totally unacceptable violation of the most basic of human rights, and the IFJ calls on the government of Pakistan to take a stand and put an end to the disappearance of journalists.”
The IFJ supports the PFUJ’s demands for a full investigation into Mari’s disappearance.
For more information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide