The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in strongly condemning the attempted assassination of a Pakistani television presenter and the murder of his driver on Friday night, March 28.
Unidentified armed men opened fire on Raza Rumi, a news show anchor from Express News, while he was in his car on Ferozpur Road in Lahore returning home after finishing his news show. Although Rumi was not injured in the attack, his driver, Mustafa, was killed and his guard was injured.
Police recovered 11 bullet shells from the scene and have registered a case against the unidentified attackers on the complaint of Rumi with charges of murder and terrorism.
The IFJ said: “We join with the PFUJ in expressing our deepest condolences to the family of Mustafa.”
We all have to die one day. But my brave driver, a sole breadwinner of his family was sprayed with bullets meant for me. Why? Why?
— Raza Rumi (@Razarumi) March 28, 2014
The PFUJ said in a statement: “This is another incident of terrorists targeting journalists. We demand the government probe into and arrest the killers. We also demand that journalists must be provided adequate security so that they could perform their duties without any fear.”
The attack comes two months after three Express Media workers were shot and killed as they sat in an Express News van on Friday, January 17.
The PFUJ and all its affiliates in Pakistan held protests at the weekend to condemn the attack. The main protests were held in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Peshawar, Queta, Gujrat and Gujranwala on Saturday, March 29, with hundreds of journalists attending.
Pakistan remains one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists with killings and attacks journalists rife since the beginning of 2014. Six journalists have already been murdered in 2014 and death threats and intimidation continue to marr the nation’s media landscape, as terrorists reign under a climate of impunity.
“Without the investigation of journalist attacks and the arrest and successful prosecution of journalist killers, the killings will continue,” the IFJ said.
“The day-to-day threats faced by Pakistani journalists and the rising number of attacks on media workers is one of the most concerning issues facing the region. These murders will continue until the Pakistani government is prepared to tackle journalist safety as an issue for all of Pakistani society and its right to freedom of expression.”