Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union
of Journalists (PFUJ) in strongly condemning the killing of another journalist,
in what has been a series of targeted attacks in Balochistan Province,
Pakistan, throughout 2012.
media reports, Rehmatullah Abid, a senior journalist working with the Dunya News
TV Channel, was sitting in a shop when unknown armed men, riding a motorcycle,
opened fire, shooting and killing him instantly.
occurred on Sunday, November 18, in the Washbood Area of the Panjgur District, some 600 kilometres away from Quetta, the provincial capital of
cordoned off the area as a crime scene, but no arrests have been made and no
group has claimed responsibility for the killing. According to family members
of Abid, he had no known enemies.
In a statement,
PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat, demanded action from both “the federal and
provincial governments to check this deplorable trend in which journalists are
being targeted mercilessly.” He further demanded that “stern action [be] taken
against those bent upon gagging freedom of the press.” He elaborated that the
situation in Balochistan was very tense and difficult for journalists, and had
demanded that the Governor and Chief Minister of the province provide security
for their colleagues, but no practical steps had been taken in this regard.
Secretary-General Amin Yousaf said that there was a deterioration of law and
order, where journalists are targeted by various elements.
The IFJ joins the
PFUJ in demanding that the provincial governments immediately conduct a thorough and independent investigation to
ascertain a motive and identify the killers, and again calls on the Government
of Pakistan to act in accordance with a commitment to protecting the lives of
journalists and ending the culture of impunity.
Pakistan is ranked as the world’s most dangerous country to work as a journalist.
According to PFUJ estimates close to 25 journalists have
been killed in Balochistan province alone in the past three years.
report on the State of
Journalism in Balochistan Province, released on World Press Freedom
Day 2012, is available on the IFJ website here.
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