Widow of Slain Pakistani Journalist Murdered in Targeted Attack

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<font size="2">The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked and outraged by the targeted bomb </font><font size="2">attack on Mahrun Nisa at her home in Mir Ali, a militant stronghold in the border region of </font><font size="2">North Waziristan.</font>

<font size="2">Reports from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an affiliate of the IFJ, said Nisa </font><font size="2">was killed in the early hours of the morning on 17 November by a bomb detonated outside her </font><font size="2">bedroom window. Since losing both her husband and one son to vicious attacks, Nisa has </font><font size="2">become an advocate for journalists’ safety and media freedom in Pakistan.</font>

<font size="2">“It is distressing and unjustifiable when attacks on press freedom take the lives of journalists </font><font size="2">and their families,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said. </font>

<font size="2">Nisa’s husband, Hayatullah Khan, disappeared in December 2005 just days after he </font><font size="2">photographed shrapnel from a US Hellfire missile aimed at a wanted al-Qaida figure, Hamza </font><font size="2">Rabia. Contradicting a claim by the Pakistan Government that Rabia died in an accidental </font><font size="2">explosion, the photograph was widely published and Khan’s body was found seven months </font><font size="2">later riddled with bullets.</font>

<font size="2">These tragic incidents are just some examples of how conditions for journalists’ safety in </font><font size="2">Pakistan are rapidly deteriorating.</font>

<font size="2">Several journalists have been directly affected by attacks since November 13. Abdul Sattar </font><font size="2">Kakar of ARY TV and Jamal Tharkai from the newspaper </font><font face="Times New Roman" size="2">Awam </font><font face="Helvetica"><font size="2">were arrested in Quetta on </font><font size="2">November 14 at a protest against media censorship imposed under emergency rule since 3 </font><font size="2">November. Another television correspondent for Aaj TV Nadem Khattak was arrested for the </font><font size="2">second time this month while covering a demonstration in the north-western district of Lakki </font><font size="2">Marwat.</font>

<font size="2">Despite these attacks, the peaceful protest by hundreds of journalists from print and electronic </font><font size="2">media in front of a banned television station in Islamabad as a public display of solidarity with </font><font size="2">the TV channel on Sunday marked the 10</font><font face="Helvetica" size="2">th </font><font face="Helvetica"><font size="2">day of action.</font>

<font size="2">The IFJ condemns the murder of Mahrun Nisa and demands local authorities investigate the </font><font size="2">brutal attack and make those responsible accountable for this crime. As the media crisis </font><font size="2">continues, the IFJ supports its affiliate the PFUJ and all journalists involved in the protests for </font><font size="2">standing up for their professional rights and demanding the Government restore diversity of the </font><font size="2">media by lifting the ban on all private TV channels and FM radios.</font>

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<font face="TTE17C3618t00" size="2">For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

<font face="TTE2DD1CB0t00" size="2">The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in more than 120 countries</font></font>

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