Media release: Pakistan
March 4, 2013
The International Federation
of Journalists is appalled at the death of three Pakistani journalists in the
space of a week and has called on authorities to thoroughly investigate the cases
to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.
On March 1, Mehmood Ahmed
Afridi, a correspondent for the newspaper Intikhab, was killed by gunmen
travelling by motorcycle in Kalat, in the southwestern province of Balochistan.
Afridi, 56, had worked as a journalist since 1995 and was president of the
Kalat press club. Colleagues said Afridi had been waiting outside a public
telephone booth when two men on a motorcycle stopped and opened fire - he was
shot four times.
On 27 February in
Miranshah, North Waziristan, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA),
journalist Malik Mumtaz Khan, was on his way to his home when he was gunned
down by armed men waiting in a vehicle with tinted windows of the kind widely
used by militants. Khan had been a journalist for 15 years and had worked for
TV news channel GEO and the Jang newspaper group. He had also recently been
elected president of the Miranshah press club.
On February 25 Khushnood
Ali Shaikh, the chief reporter of the state-controlled Associated Press of
Pakistan (APP) wire agency was killed in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province
when he was struck in a hit-and-run incident with a car. Shaikh had been
receiving threatening calls for some time that warned his child would be abducted
and murdered if he did not pay Rs. 50,000 in extortion. Shaikh had informed his
union, his employer and the police of the threats. He relocated to Islamabad
and thought that the threats had gone away. Returning to Karachi, the threats
resumed. It’s believed his death was no accident and that he was deliberately
around the world are allowing killers to get away with murder because the
targeted killing of journalists are not properly investigated,” the IFJ said.
“Authorities cannot allow
a culture of impunity to flourish. Journalists must be allowed to do
their job of scrutinising the powerful and holding them to account. Pakistan
must demonstrate that it will investigate these crimes with vigour.”
This week, The International
Federation of Journalists has sent an international delegation to Pakistan. The
5-member delegation are meeting with union leaders, media persons, civil
society representatives from four provinces to assess the situation for
journalists, in particular with regards to their safety and job security.
The delegation will be
meeting media owners and government officials to impress upon them the
importance of a safe and independent media and discuss ways in which the policy
and legal environment can support press freedom and allow the media to fulfill
their democratic function.
A National Meeting will be
held on the 5th March attended by government, civil society and media representatives
from around the country to discuss the delegations’ findings and ways in which
various groups can jointly support a safe and independent media.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
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