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Pakistan 26 November 2007

Jang correspondant gunned down in Sindh province

Reporters Without Borders is appalled by the murder of Zubair Ahmed Mujahid, a correspondent of the national daily Jang, on 23 November in Mirpur Khas, in the southern province of Sindh. His elder brother told the press freedom organisation he was "killed because of his articles criticising the situation of the poor" in the area.

"We call on the federal and provincial authorities to quickly appoint a team of investigators to arrest the killers and identify those who ordered the murder," Reporters Without Borders said. "Mujahid was a committed and courageous journalist. If impunity again prevails in this murder, all of Pakistan’s journalists will feel even more threatened. This tragedy is further proof that the authorities are unable to ensure journalists’ safety."

Mujahid is the 6th Pakistani journalist to be killed since the start of the year. Pakistan is now the world’s third most dangerous country for the media, after Iraq and Somalia.

Mujahid was shot in the stomach by a man on a motorcycle as he was returning home by car with Wahid Hussain, the vice-president of the Mirpur Khas press club. He died instantly.

A veteran reporter, Mujahid wrote a weekly column for Jang called "Crime and Punishment" in which he often criticised landowners and police. After one of his articles about the mistreatment of members of a low cast by landlords, the supreme court ordered the suspects arrested. Another of his reports led to arrests of local policemen involved in violence against villagers.

"Our family does not have any family conflicts," his brother, Muhammad Iftikhar, said. "My brother wrote articles about the fate of the poor which obviously targeted influential people." the family has filed an initial complaint (FIR) that does not name any suspects and the police have not yet made any arrests.




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