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