The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in condemning the murder of a journalist in Kalat, Balochistan province in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, January 12. The IFJ demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of those involved in the killing.
According to reports, unidentified attackers shot dead 37-year-old Muhammad Jan Sumalani, a reporter of Urdu language Daily Qudrat and Brahui language Daily Talar Quetta. He was also a member of the Ahmad Yar Khan Press Club, Kalat. He was intercepted while on his way home and two attackers opened fire on him, killing him on the spot. The motive for the killing is not yet known and no group has claimed responsibility.
The PFUJ condemned the targeted killing and demanded the government investigate and arrest the killers. This is the first case of a journalist being killed in Pakistan in 2017, a country that saw five killings of journalists in 2016.
Balochistan province remains Pakistan’s most dangerous place for journalists and was named as the ‘Cemetery for Journalists’ in the 2014-15 South Asia Press Freedom Report. Since 2007, nearly three dozens journalists have been killed in Balochistan, which has been particularly challenging due to multiple threats from various quarters – Baloch nationalists and separatists as well as security and intelligence agencies.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ condemns in the strongest terms the killing of yet another journalist in Pakistan. The killing of Muhammad Jan Sumalani in Kalat, Balochistan shows that the safety situation for journalists has not improved and the government has failed to take concrete steps to ensure the safety of journalists. The IFJ urges the Pakistan government to immediately arrest and prosecute the killers of journalist Sumalani.”
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