19 November 2012
Another Journalist Killed in Balochistan
The International 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.
According to 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.
The incident occurred on Sunday, November 18, in the Washbood Area of the Panjgur District, some 600 kilometres away from Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.
Local Police 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.
PFUJ 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.
The PFUJ/IFJ report on the State of Journalism in Balochistan Province, released on World Press Freedom Day 2012, is available on the IFJ website here.
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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