11 January 2013
IFJ condemns death of cameraman, photographer in Quetta twin blasts
Media Release: Pakistan
January 11, 2013
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in strongly condemning the twin blasts in Quetta on January 10, 2013 and mourning the death of two journalists who were killed in the second blast as they rushed to cover the story.
The blasts took place on Alamdar Road in Quetta at a snooker club killing 42 people, including Imran Shaikh, cameraman with Samaa TV, and Mohammad Iqbal, photographer at NNI. Mohammad Hasan, photographer with INP and Saifur Rehman, a senior reporter with Samaa TV, were seriously injured.
The journalists had rushed to the site of the first blast in the snooker club when the second blast took place.
In a statement, PFUJ President Pervaiz Shaukat said the ongoing violence in Balochistan was a matter of serious concern. Journalists are particularly at risk and a number of journalists and media persons have already lost their lives in the province.
"We have particularly been focussing on training journalists in performing their duties during blasts. The aim of our trainings has always been how to report and cover disasters, blasts and conflicts," Mr Shaukat said. Mr Shaukat sent his condolences to the families of the journalists and called upon the provincial government to take appropriate measures to arrest those responsible.
PFUJ Secretary-General Amin Yousuf also condemned the twin blasts. "We will not tolerate government's continued apathy to the loss of precious lives. We demand immediate protection of journalists," he added. It was also announced that there will be a countrywide protest against the killings on January 12, 2013.
He also regretted the trend where TV channels do not name the media organisations to which the killed journalists belong, and asked the Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA) to take stock of the situation.
Journalists from the Balochistan province face violence and threats from ethnic, sectarian and separatist groups as well as from security forces and intelligence agencies. According to the figures compiled by the Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP), twenty six journalists have been killed in the Balochistan province during last five years.
“This latest tragedy draws attention to the serious dangers journalists in Pakistan face.” said IFJ Director Jacqueline Park. We join the PFUJ in calling on the provincial and national governments to take immediate action to protect the lives of journalists.”
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.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific