IFJ Demands Pakistan’s Leaders Address Impunity

The International Federation

of Journalists (IFJ) calls on Pakistan’s

federal and provincial governments to take immediate action to end impunity for

the killings of journalists in Pakistan,

following the murder of Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, whose body was found in the Sindh region on May 10.


Birhamani, a reporter for the Hyderabad-basedDaily Sindhunewspaper,

went missing on May 9. According to local media reports and the Pakistan

Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), he was kidnapped by unidentified persons

near the village

of Wahipandhi,tortured, and killed by a blow to

the head. His mutilated body was found in a field near the town of Dadu. 


The motivation remains unclear. Birhamani’s family says he had no enmity

with anyone in the area but may have been killed for his “even-handed and fair”

reporting on political matters in Sindh, according to the PFUJ.


Birhamani had worked as a professional journalist for more than two

decades and was attached to a range of Sindhi publications. He leaves a

widow, two sons and a daughter.


“Since early 2005, at least 15 journalists have been killed in Pakistan in

verified targeted attacks due to the content of their reporting. Not one

suspect has been prosecuted,” IFJ

General Secretary Aidan White said.



power-holders must reverse the culture of impunity and take responsibility for

ensuring there is justice for the families and colleagues of murdered

journalists. It is not enough to offer condolences yet again – the federal and

provincial governments must use their authority to ensure that full and

transparent investigations are conducted into all murders of media personnel in



In a separate case of violence against a journalist this week, Azaz Syed, of Dawn newspaper,retuned to his

Islamabad home

from his office in the early hours of May 11 to discover seven bullet holes in

his gate, and his neighbours and family discussing the attack by unidentified



Syed experienced similar threats on January 19, when bricks were hurled

at his house and car. The PFUJ, an IFJ affiliate, believes

the attacks were in retaliation for Syed’s reports exposing corruption among

military and intelligence officials. High-ranking officers had contacted him to

demand he halt publishing his reports.


In a statement following a recent meeting of the PFUJ’s federal executive

council, the union demanded that the details of police investigations into the

murders of journalists be made open for public inspection. The PFUJ reiterated

deep concerns about the failure of authorities to arrest any suspects for the

murders of journalists.


The IFJ joins the PFUJ in demanding that authorities conduct an immediate

and credible investigation into the murder of Birhamani, and all incidents of violence against media personnel, including the two

attacks on Syed


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide