Journalist group calls for Pakistan to probe killing of reporter

Jan. 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM
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BRUSSELS, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Pakistan must take steps to ensure the safety of journalists, an international journalism organization says, in the wake of the killing of a respected reporter.

Shan Dahar, a senior journalist with the Aaab Tak News Channel, died Wednesday after being shot Tuesday on his way home, the International Federation of Journalists said in a statement Thursday.

"We express our deepest sympathies with the family and colleagues of the highly respected journalist Shan Dahar, who we believe is the first journalist to be killed in 2014," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

"We call for authorities in Pakistan to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into his murder and to take every step necessary to ensure that the perpetrators of this horrific crime face the full weight of justice."

Some 10 journalists and media staff were killed in Pakistan in 2013, making the country one of the most dangerous in the world for journalists, the Brussels-based organization said.

The Pakistani Federal Union of Journalists, an IFJ affiliate, held a series of protests following Dahar's death calling on the government to step up protection for journalists.

In October, the IFJ began its "End Impunity" campaign, calling on Pakistan, Iraq and Russia to investigate the killings of journalists and prosecute those responsible.

"We believe that the lack of accountability for acts of violence against journalists in Pakistan reinforces the culture of impunity and is the main reason why journalists in the country remain in the firing line," Boumelha said.

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