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Pakistan 7 October 2003

Critical journalist murdered in Sindh province

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) said today it was appalled at the 3 October murder of Pakistani journalist Amir Bux Brohi, who reported on human rights violations by police and powerful local figures in Sindh province. He was correspondent for the Sindhi-language Daily Kawish and the TV station KTN.

"We would concerned if those who planned and carried out this crime were not punished or were simply tried by a tribal assembly, as were the October 2002 killers of Shahid Soomro, also of the Daily Kawish, who were let off with just a fine," the press freedom organisation said in a letter to federal interior minister Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh. "The police and courts must prosecute and punish those who endanger press freedom in this way."

Brohi, 30, was shot dead in Shikarpur, in Sindh province, by three gunmen who stopped him as he was driving to work after dark, shot him at close range and then fled. Police had no information on why he was killed, but Ahmed Raza, a journalist with the Daily Times, noted that Brohi, who had worked in Shikarpur for the past 12 years, had written a lot about abuses by local police and agents of landowners. Friends said he had also been threatened several times.

His murder set off demonstrations by journalists in several cities in Sindh province to demand the arrest of the killers and official protection for journalists, some of them also staged a symbolic hunger-strike as a mark of respect.




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