IFJ Calls for Global Support for Inquiry into Disappearance of Pakistani Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is calling for support from all IFJ affiliates and colleagues on behalf of IFJ affiliate in Pakistan, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), to participate in a global day of action for kidnapped journalist Hayutullah Khan.

The PFUJ will be holding rallies and protest meetings in Pakistan on March 21 to lobby the Pakistani Government to prioritise the case of missing journalist Hayutullah Khan and ensure his abductors are brought to justice.

To support the PFUJ’s campaign the IFJ is calling on all IFJ affiliates to send letters of protest to their local Pakistani Embassies. A template letter of protest is available on the IFJ website: Send Your Own Letter of Protest

Khan, a reporter for the Urdu language daily Ausuf and photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) was kidnapped on December 6, 2005, by masked assailants near the tribal area of North Wazirston.

In the months following his disappearance, there has been no word of Khan’s fate. His family and friends still await news from authorities investigating his disappearance.

It has been alleged that Khan’s abduction may have been linked to his report on the killing of a senior Al Qaeda militant on December 1, 2005, which cast doubt on the official version of events and raised sensitive issues regarding the US military’s involvement in the fight against terrorism in Pakistan.

The tribal areas where Kahn disappeared, South and North Wazirstan - and areas close to the Afghan border have become "No Go Areas," for foreign and local correspondents. Many journalists reporting from these areas have received threats by both militants and from intelligence agencies.

”It is essential that the Pakistani Government guarantees that journalists reporting from these areas are given free access and protection to ensure the important stories from these areas are able to be told,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren. “No journalist should have to live in fear of abduction or violent attacks against themselves or their families for reporting what is in the public interest,” said Warren.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries