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

Stop killing journalists. Photo: UNESCO

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

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