AFP photojournalist survives attack during Charlie Hebdo demonstrations

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemns the attack on a photojournalist during a demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan on Friday, January 16.

Asif Hassan, a 38-year-old photojournalist working for the Agence France Presse (AFP), was shot during an anti-Charlie Hebdo protest by the student wing of religious party Jammat-e-Islami in front of the French Consulate’s office in Karachi.

According to reports, the crowd was demonstrating against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s depiction of the prophet Mohammed, opened fire at police as the security forces blocked the road. Hassan was rushed to the Aga Khan University Hospital where he is reported to be in a stable condition. A local TV cameraman also sustained minor injuries during the protest.

The IFJ and the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), the local chapter of IFJ affiliated Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), have called for an investigation into the incident.

KUJ President GM Jamali and General Secretary Wajid Isfahani said in a statement: “We condemn the attack on the journalist and demand for immediate action against such act of violence.”

The IFJ and the KUJ also remind all the journalists to be careful when covering demonstrations and follow the IFJ Safety Guidelines for covering demonstrations and civil unrest to ensure their personal safety. 

Jane Worthington, the IFJ Asia Pacific acting director, said: “We condemn this attack and call on the provincial and federal governments of Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of this sensless attack to justice.”

Pakistan was named the most dangerous country in the world for journalists in 2014, with 14 murders. The continued threats and attacks on journalists and media workers hamper press freedom across the country and create an unsafe working environment.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

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