The International Federation
of Journalists (IFJ) calls on Pakistan’s
federal and provincial governments to take immediate action to end impunity for
the killings of journalists in Pakistan,
following the murder of Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, whose body was found in the Sindh region on May 10.
Birhamani, a reporter for the Hyderabad-basedDaily Sindhunewspaper,
went missing on May 9. According to local media reports and the Pakistan
Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), he was kidnapped by unidentified persons
near the village
of Wahipandhi,tortured, and killed by a blow to
the head. His mutilated body was found in a field near the town of Dadu.
The motivation remains unclear. Birhamani’s family says he had no enmity
with anyone in the area but may have been killed for his “even-handed and fair”
reporting on political matters in Sindh, according to the PFUJ.
Birhamani had worked as a professional journalist for more than two
decades and was attached to a range of Sindhi publications. He leaves a
widow, two sons and a daughter.
“Since early 2005, at least 15 journalists have been killed in Pakistan in
verified targeted attacks due to the content of their reporting. Not one
suspect has been prosecuted,” IFJ
General Secretary Aidan White said.
power-holders must reverse the culture of impunity and take responsibility for
ensuring there is justice for the families and colleagues of murdered
journalists. It is not enough to offer condolences yet again – the federal and
provincial governments must use their authority to ensure that full and
transparent investigations are conducted into all murders of media personnel in
In a separate case of violence against a journalist this week, Azaz Syed, of Dawn newspaper,retuned to his
from his office in the early hours of May 11 to discover seven bullet holes in
his gate, and his neighbours and family discussing the attack by unidentified
Syed experienced similar threats on January 19, when bricks were hurled
at his house and car. The PFUJ, an IFJ affiliate, believes
the attacks were in retaliation for Syed’s reports exposing corruption among
military and intelligence officials. High-ranking officers had contacted him to
demand he halt publishing his reports.
In a statement following a recent meeting of the PFUJ’s federal executive
council, the union demanded that the details of police investigations into the
murders of journalists be made open for public inspection. The PFUJ reiterated
deep concerns about the failure of authorities to arrest any suspects for the
murders of journalists.
The IFJ joins the PFUJ in demanding that authorities conduct an immediate
and credible investigation into the murder of Birhamani, and all incidents of violence against media personnel, including the two
attacks on Syed
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in 125 countries worldwide