UNESCO chief denounces murders of two Pakistani journalists

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO/Ania Freindorf

18 May 2012 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the murders of two Pakistani journalists and expressed alarm over the continued deteriorating security of journalists in the country.

“The brutal murders of Tariq Kamal and Murtaza Razvi stand unequivocally condemned,” said the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, in a news release. “Every attempt must be made to bring their killers to justice.”

“These latest killings, coming less than one month apart, highlight once again the dangerous conditions in which journalists in Pakistan work,” she added. “This is cause for alarm and requires urgent action, in the name of press freedom and the rights of citizens to be informed.”

Tariq Kamal was a reporter with a Sindhi language daily published in Karachi. He was reported missing on 7 May, along with a friend, and their bodies were found two days later. According to Kamal’s family, he had left Karachi for another town in the province of Sindh on 3 May to follow up what he described as an ‘exclusive’ news story.

Murtaza Razvi was a well-known columnist and political analyst with the national English language daily Dawn. His body was found strangled and tortured in a Karachi apartment on 19 April.

According to UNESCO, 25 journalists and media workers, including Tariq Kamal and Murtaza Razvi, have been killed in Pakistan since 2002.


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