Latest murder underlines dangers faced by Pakistani journalists, says UN official

17 December 2010

A senior United Nations official has called on Pakistani authorities to probe the murder of a journalist gunned down in the south-western province of Balochistan this week, the fourth media professional to be killed in the country in less than two weeks.

Muhammad Khan Sasoli, 36, worked as a correspondent for Royal TV and the INP news agency in Khuzdhar and was the president of the town’s press club. He was shot four times by two men on a motorcycle outside his home and died instantly on 14 December.

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), condemned the murder, which follows the killing of three Pakistani journalists in two separate incidents on 6 December.

“Acts of violence against journalists represent attacks on freedom of expression. Only by protecting this fundamental right can we have democratic societies,” she said in a press release.

“I call upon the authorities to do their utmost to investigate this crime and arrest the perpetrators, in order to put a stop to violence against journalists in Pakistan. Three other journalists died this month in Pakistan besides Mr. Sasoli, a fact that underlines the extreme dangers faced by media professionals in the country.”

Altaf Chandio was reportedly shot dead outside his home in Sindh Province on 6 December, while Abdul Wahab and Pervez Khan were killed in a suicide bombing in the north-west tribal area on the same day.

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UNESCO chief deplores murders of three Pakistani journalists

The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the recent murders of three Pakistani journalists, noting that the fact that they lost their lives in two separate incidents on the same day underlines the grave dangers facing media professionals in the South Asian nation.