Rising Impunity in Pakistan

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

His Excellency Mian Gul Akbar Zeb, High Commissioner
High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
10 Range Road
Ottawa, ON K1N 8J3

August 9, 2011

Dear High Commissioner,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE is gravely concerned by the alarming number of journalists who have been killed in Pakistan. Since 2006, 45 journalists have been killed as a direct result of their work; the majority were deliberately targeted. The perpetrators of these murders have consistently not been brought to justice.

So far in 2011, eight journalists have been killed in Pakistan, making it the deadliest country for journalists. Those journalists are:

• Ilyas Nazar - kidnapped on December 28, 2010, and found on January 5 with multiple gunshot wounds to his head and chest.
• Wali Khan Barbar - killed on January 13 by multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
• Abdost Rind - killed in a drive-by shooting while on his way from work on February 18.
• Zaman Ali - gunned down by two assailants on April 2.
• Nasrullah Afridi - killed on May 10 by a remote-controlled bomb planted in his car.
• Saleem Shahzad - kidnapped on May 29 and found on May 31 with signs of torture.
• Asfandyar Khan and Shafiullah Khan – killed on June 13 while reporting on a bombing in Peshawar when a second explosion took place.

CJFE calls upon the Government of Pakistan to conduct comprehensive inquiries into each murder, and to release the results of the inquiries to the public. CJFE urges Pakistani officials to put an end to the culture of impunity in Pakistan by ensuring that all perpetrators of violence against journalists are brought to justice.

We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,

Arnold Amber, CJFE President
Cc: Mr. Ross Hynes, High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan;
The Honourable John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs