14 December 2010 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.
Altaf Chandio, president of the Mirpur Khas press club in Sindh province and the bureau chief of the private Sindhi language channel, AWAZ (voice), was reportedly shot outside his house on 6 December by unidentified gunmen.
Abdul Wahab, a journalist for Express News, and Pervez Khan, a journalist with WAQT TV, were also killed on 6 December, when a suicide bomber struck a government building in Ghalanai, a town in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).
“The killing of Altaf Chandio, Abdul Wahab and Pervez Khan is a denial of freedom of expression, a fundamental right that is a cornerstone of a democratic society,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
“The fact three journalists have lost their lives in two separate incidents on the same day underlines the grave dangers facing journalists in Pakistan,” she added. “I call on the authorities to do their utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice, to show that impunity will not be tolerated in Pakistan.”
According to the International Federation of Journalists, the recent killings bring to 14 the number of media professionals killed in Pakistan so far this year.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue