IFJ Mourns Another Journalist Killed in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is extremely concerned by the failure of authorities in Pakistan to fully investigate the killings of journalists, after another journalist was murdered last night.

Raja Assad Hameed, a senior reporter for the daily Nation and Waqt TV Channel, was shot four times by unidentified assailants as he arrived at his home in Rawalpindi, reports the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate. He died in hospital.

The PFUJ said the motive for the murder is unclear. The IFJ joins the PFUJ in demanding that Pakistan’s Government direct local authorities to conduct a full investigation and to bring the culprits to justice.

However, it is disturbed to learn that authorities have not properly investigated the abduction and targeted murder of GEO correspondent Mussa Khankhel in Swat Valley on February 18.

The PFUJ suggests the failure of authorities to investigate Khankhel’s murder is reason to doubt the sincerity of the Government in its promise to protect media personnel.

“The Government of Pakistan must act on its stated commitment to defend media rights, including the right of media personnel to be protected against targeted violence,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

“Offering to provide compensation after violence has been committed is an insufficient response in dealing with the level of violence directed against the media in various parts of Pakistan.”

The murder of Assad follows another killing of a journalist this week. Tariq Malik, a young correspondent for Dawn News, was shot dead on March 24 in what appears to have been a street robbery unrelated to his professional work.

Members of the PFUJ will hold a rally this weekend to protest continuing violence against journalists and to appeal again to the authorities to take serious action.

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