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Pakistan 20 June 2007

Journalist murdered in Sindh province

Reporters Without Borders today voiced revulsion at the murder of Nisar Ahmed Solangi, correspondent for the Sindhi-language newspaper, Khabroon, in Kingri, Sindh province.

Ahmed Solangi, 34, died in a hail of nine bullets after he was ambushed by six people on motorbikes and armed with Kalashnikovs, who shot him at point blank range as he was distributing newspapers on 17 June.

“We are shocked by the murder of Nisar Ahmed Solangi, less than three weeks after the killing of Noor Hakim, in the tribal areas on 2 June,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

“The deteriorating working conditions and the insecurity facing journalists in the rural areas of the country are extremely worrying. It is crucial both that the local authorities find and punish the killers of Nisar Ahmed Solangi and that the Pakistani authorities put an end to this lawlessness”, the organisation said.

Sindh’s rural areas are currently the scene of serious conflict between rival clans.

A friend of the reporter, Khan Muhammad, told Reporters Without Borders, “Solangi received death threats two days previously, from a Sindhi tribe, Junejo, which was unhappy about his reports". The journalist had written an article contesting allegations by Junejo members that a rival clan had killed some of its members in a recent clash. The journalist asserted that they had been killed by police officers.

The family of the murdered journalist has begun legal proceedings against members of the Junejo clan: Hadu Junejo, Makal, Nazir, Ghulam Haiser, Siddiq and Nural.

A reporter on Sindh TV News, Abdul Khaliq, dismissed a theory that Nisar Ahmed Solangi had been killed for ethnic reasons. “He was killed because of his profession,” the journalist said.

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