The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked to hear of the killing of Abdost Rind, a 27-year-old journalist in the Turbat area of Balochistan province in Pakistan’s south-west.
According to information received from IFJ affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Rind – a reporter with Daily Eagle, an Urdu-language newspaper – was shot four times by unidentified assailants on motorcycles as he returned home from work on the evening of February 18. He died immediately.
He is the second media worker to be killed in Balochistan this year, after the death of Ilyas Nazar, who was found dead in Pidarak on January 5.
The IFJ’s recent report on journalists and media workers killed in 2010 identifies Pakistan as the single most dangerous place in the world for the profession. Of the 16 journalists and media workers killed in Pakistan last year, six were in Balochistan, geographically the country’s largest, though also the most thinly populated.
“For too long, conflict and the risks for media personnel in Balochistan have gone relatively unnoticed, with most attention focused on the war consuming Pakistan’s northern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and Tribal Areas,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The crisis of media safety compels the global community to immediately step forward with a gesture of solidarity and support for the beleaguered journalists of Balochistan.”
Rind’s family believes his killing is directly related to his work as a journalist. However, the link requires verification.
The IFJ joins the PFUJ in demanding that authorities in Balochistan act quickly to investigate Rind’s death, to send a message to those responsible that journalists’ killers will not go unpunished.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family of the slain journalist and call upon the federal and provincial authorities to extend all possible support to them in this hour of need,” Park said.
The 2010 toll of journalists and media workers killed in Balochistan:
- Hameed Marwa, killed February 17 in Quetta
- Malik Arif, April 16 in Quetta
- Faiz Mohammad Khan Sasoli, June 27 in Khuzdar
- Mohammad Sarwar, September 3 in Quetta
- Ejaz Ahmad Raisani, September 6 in Quetta
- Abdul Hameed Hayatan, November 18 in Turbat