IFJ Condemns Killing of Journalist in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked and saddened to learn of the gruesome killing of journalist Faiz Mohammad Khan Sasoli in Pakistan’s Balochistan province yesterday.


Faiz, a former president of the Khuzdar Press Club and correspondent for Aaj Kal and Independent News of Pakistan, was killed instantly when unidentified assailants opened fire on his car as he was driving near Faisal Hotel in Khuzdar District, according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, an IFJ affiliate. Faiz’s car hit a nearby shop, where two people were injured.


While no group has claimed responsibility for the killing, the PFUJ reported that Faiz had survived two attacks in the past 12 months and had received threats from the militant Baloch Musallah Difah Tanzeem (BMDT).


In April 2009, Haji Wasi Ahmed, a correspondent for Azadi and Balochistan Express, was also killed in Khuzdar while conducting his work.


In 2008, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the murder of Chishti Mujahid, who worked for the weekly Akhbar-e-Jahan.


Faiz, 27, had worked in journalism for a decade and was the main breadwinner in his family of four brothers, two sisters and his ageing parents. His marriage was to be solemnised next month.


“The IFJ is shocked and saddened by this latest murder, which again shows that lawlessness in Balochistan is putting local media personnel at extreme danger as they exercise their duty to report,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.


“The IFJ joins the PFUJ in demanding an inquiry by a judge of the Balochistan High Court to bring the perpetrators of this violent crime to justice, and for Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments to provide financial compensation and support to Faiz’s family.”

In a separate incident in Lahore, Farrukh Asif, a cameraman for Express News, was brutally assaulted by police, the PFUJ reported.


Asif was filming police assaulting people at Liberty Market, when he was attacked by police. On the orders of Gulberg Station House Officer Ihsan Butt, more than a dozen police overpowered Asif and assaulted him publicly, snatched his camera and destroyed the footage, according to the PFUJ.


Media reports said Asif was taken by police to the Gulberg Station House where he was brutally assaulted before being rescued by colleagues. He suffered fractures to his arms and bruising.


“The IFJ demands that all police personnel involved in the attack on Asif be immediately arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law,” White said 


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919