The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the attack on journalist Ahmed Noorani at Khayaban-e-Suharwardi of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, on Friday, October 27. The IFJ demands immediate arrest and prosecution of the attackers.
Noorani, a senior reporter at the investigation cell of The News daily, sustained serious head injuries when he was dragged out of his car by unknown attackers and hit with iron rods and clubs on a busy street. According to The News, six attackers on three motorcycles intercepted Noorani’s car on a busy road, and dragged him. His driver Mumtaz was injured while trying to prevent an attacker from hitting the journalist with a knife. Noorani and his driver were taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences’ hospital, where he is steadily recovering at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ordered a probe committee, which will submit its detailed report of the incident within three days. The motive of the attack remains unknown and no one has claimed responsibility for the attack. The police has registered a First Information Report (FIR) and is investigating the case.
The News reported that earlier this year some unknown men showed up at Noorani’s residence at midnight and tried to drag him out the house. Noorani, who is considered an outspoken critic of security agency and political parties, was known to have received threats and had deactivated his Twitter account a few days ago.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and other journalist unions have strongly condemned the attack and held demonstrations around the country demanding arrest of the attackers.
The IFJ said: "The IFJ condemns the attack on senior journalist Ahmed Noorani. The attack on a journalist in broad daylight on a busy street of Pakistan’s capital is a testament of the risk that journalists face. The IFJ demands the earlier arrest of the attackers and assurance of safety of journalists in Pakistan, which remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist, with 94 journalists killed since 2007.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries
Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific