Thursday, April 18, 2002Canadian Journalists for Free Expression expressed shock and anger at the murder of Indian journalist Paritosh Pandey. The crime reporter for the Hindi-language local daily Jansatta Express was murdered the evening of April 14 while watching television at his home in Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Pandey, 32, was shot five times at point-blank range by several individuals. He was hit in the head and died instantly. Pandey’s assassins escaped. After learning of their colleague’s murder, a group of journalists demonstrated outside the main Lucknow police station, demanding swift action from authorities accused of not taking the killing seriously. A struggle ensued and one journalist was injured when he was struck with the butt of a police officer’s pistol. According to his family and colleagues, Pandey’s murder is almost certainly linked to his articles on oganized crime in Lucknow. "We are disturbed by the loss of another colleague to murder," said CJFE Executive Director Joel Ruimy. "We urge state authorities to conduct a serious and thorough investigation into the killing so that those responsible can be identified and punished. "The attack on Pandey is an attack on all journalists and on the principle of free expression," Ruimy added. Pandey is the 15th journalist this year to be killed in the line of duty, CJFE research indicates. In the most recent incident, two members of a Colombian television news crew, Héctor Sandoval and Wálter López, were shot and killed last week while covering fighting between the Colombian army and leftist rebels. CJFE is an association of journalists, writers, editors, producers and others who work to defend and promote free expression in Canada and around the world. For further information, please contact CJFE Executive Director Joel Ruimy at (416) 515-9622 or at [email protected]
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