The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) mourns the death of news cameraman Ejaz Ahmed Raisani on September 6 as a result of injuries he suffered in an attack on a rally in Quetta, Pakistan, on September 3.
An Aaj TV media crew driver, Mohammad Sarwar, was also killed after reportedly being shot in the head and chest in gunfire that erupted after a suicide blast targeting the rally in the capital of Balochistan province.
Another eight media workers – mostly camera operators – were also injured in the blast and subsequent gunfire, according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate.
The injured cameramen were Amin Mengal of ARY TV, Imran Mukhtar of GEO TV, Fateh Shakir of Dawn TV, Hakim of Aaj TV and Shahid of Samaa TV. Also injured were ARY bureau chief Mustafa Tareen, Express TV reporter Irshad Mastoi and Samaa TV acting bureau chief Noor Elahi Bugti.
At least 60 others died in the blast and the ensuing shootings at the Al-Quds day rally in a marketplace in central Quetta, with more than 160 injured, according to local media reports.
“The deaths of Ejaz Raisani and Mohammad Sarwar, and the injuries suffered by media crews, tragically underscore once again the urgent need for media personnel in Pakistan to be fully trained in awareness of the risks of their work,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
“Media managers must undertake industry-wide reforms to ensure their personnel are effectively trained in safety procedures and provided with protective gear in high-risk environments.”
According to the PFUJ, Ejaz, 31, recently joined SAMAA TV, and was reporting on the Quetta rally without protective gear.
He worked previously for ARY One World, and was a regular contributor to online news portal Baloch Hal. He leaves a widow and two children, aged 5 and 3.
SAMAA reports that it will donate 1 million Pakistan rupees (about USD 11,500) to Ejaz’s grieving family, maintain payment of his salary to his widow for one year, and pay for the education of his two children.
The IFJ joins the PFUJ in calling on Pakistan’s Government to initiate a high-level commission to investigate the deaths and injuries of media personnel in the Quetta attack.
The PFUJ advises that the commission investigate the circumstances in which media crews were reportedly fired upon following the blast; the level of training and protective equipment provided to media personnel in preparation for reporting in unsafe environments; the provision of insurance cover provided by media employers to their workers; and the degree to which media managers prepare strategic risk plans for crews working in unsafe environments.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
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