» 08/29/2014, 00.00
Quetta, three journalists murdered as attacks on Pakistani press mount
Last night two armed men raided the journalists offices shooting them in cold blood. The assailants fled, police searches so far prove vain. President of Catholic journalists: intimidation against those who seek to "tell the truth". The country is 158th out of 180 for freedom of the press.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Pakistan remains
one of the "most hostile nations in the world" for
journalists, with a new "wave of threats and attacks"
against those who try to "tell the truth". Thus, competent
authorities "are being asked to address the problem" and
ensure that the reporters "can carry out their profession free
from fear", Fr. Irshad John, President of Catholic Journalists,
tells AsiaNews commenting on the latest case of violence
against reporters in Pakistan.
Yesterday evening, the editor in chief
of the online Quetta International News Network Irshad Mastoi was
killed along with two other colleagues - Ghulam Rasool Khattak and
Younis Khan. Mastoi was also the secretary of the Order of
Journalists of Baluchistan and was at the forefront in the defense of
the right to information, in a country where reporters are often
victims of violence and targeted attacks.
Police sources report that yesterday
evening the three journalists were working in their offices, located
in Jinnah Road in Quetta, when two armed men stormed the building and
opened fire on the journalists, killing them instantly. The
assailants managed to flee without trace. The police opened an
investigation, while the journalists union is calling for justice and
Police archives show that, from 2010 to
the present, at least 34 journalists have been killed in the region
of Baluchistan. Moreover, in Islamabad at least four journalists were
recently assaulted during their coverage of opposition
protests against the government that demanded the
resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The Pakistan Forum of Journalists
reveals shocking figures: in the last 20 years, 78 journalists have
been killed because of their work, while a further158 have been
subjected to threats and violent attacks. According to the 2014
report by Reporters Without Borders, Pakistan holds 158th place (out
of 180 countries) in terms of press freedom.
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