Federation of Journalists (IFJ) mourns the death of news cameraman Ejaz Ahmed Raisani
on September 6 as a result of injuries he suffered in an attack on a rally in Quetta, Pakistan,
on September 3.
An Aaj TV media crew driver,
Mohammad Sarwar, was also killed after reportedly being shot in the head and
chest in gunfire that erupted after a suicide blast targeting the rally in the
capital of Balochistan province.
Another eight media workers – mostly
camera operators – were also injured in the blast and subsequent gunfire,
according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate.
The injured cameramen were Amin
Mengal of ARY TV, Imran Mukhtar of GEO TV, Fateh Shakir of Dawn TV, Hakim
of Aaj TV and Shahid of Samaa TV. Also injured were ARY bureau chief Mustafa
Tareen, Express TV reporter Irshad Mastoi and Samaa TV acting bureau chief
Noor Elahi Bugti.
At least 60 others died in the blast
and the ensuing shootings at the Al-Quds day rally in a marketplace in central Quetta, with more than 160
injured, according to local media reports.
“The deaths of Ejaz Raisani and
Mohammad Sarwar, and the injuries suffered by media crews, tragically
underscore once again the urgent need for media personnel in Pakistan to be
fully trained in awareness of the risks of their work,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
“Media managers must undertake
industry-wide reforms to ensure their personnel are effectively trained in
safety procedures and provided with protective gear in high-risk environments.”
According to the PFUJ, Ejaz,
31, recently joined SAMAA TV, and was reporting on the Quetta rally without protective gear.
He worked previously for ARY One
World, and was a regular contributor to online news portal Baloch Hal. He
leaves a widow and two children, aged 5 and 3.
SAMAA reports that it will donate 1
rupees (about USD 11,500) to Ejaz’s grieving family, maintain payment of his
salary to his widow for one year, and pay for the education of his two
The IFJ joins the PFUJ in calling on
Pakistan’s Government to initiate
a high-level commission to investigate the deaths and injuries of media
personnel in the Quetta
The PFUJ advises that the commission
investigate the circumstances in which media crews were reportedly fired upon
following the blast; the level of training and protective equipment provided
to media personnel in preparation for reporting in unsafe environments; the provision
of insurance cover provided by media employers to their workers; and the degree
to which media managers prepare strategic risk plans for crews working in unsafe
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