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A reminder of the ‘perils of reporting’ in Pakistan

On Monday, Shamshad TV reporter, Janullah Hashimzada, was killed in Pakistan.

The murder of the Afghan journalist is a reminder of the very real threat that faces journalists in the region, said the International Press Institute.

Janullah Hashimzada was travelling by mini-bus near the Pakistani town of Jamrud in the Khyber tribal district when the vehicle was intercepted. Assailants fired at Janullah, killing him and seriously injuring his colleague Ali Khan. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing so far.

“Hashimzada was murdered in cold blood because he dared to exercise the profession of journalist, and knew too much,” said IPI director, David Dadge. “His death underscores the perils of reporting from such a dangerous part of the world for journalists.”

Other casualties this year include:

  • Muhammad Imran, a trainee cameraman with Express TV and Saleem Tahir Awan, a freelance reporter with the local dailies Eitedal and Apna Akhbar, were both killed on January 4, when a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the Government Polytechnic College in Dera Ismail Khan in the Northwest Frontier Province.
  • Musa Khankhel, a reporter for Geo TV and the English-language newspaper The News, was shot dead on February 18,  while on assignment covering a peace march led by Muslim cleric Sufi Muhammad in the Swat valley.
  • Sadiq Bacha Khan, Aaj TV correspondent was gunned down, on August 17 in broad daylight in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan.

103 cases of ‘intimidation or threats’ against journalists were recorded from May 2008 through May 2009, according to a report by the Pakistani media research group Intermedia. Numbers of deaths vary according to the source: while Intermedia reports 15 in the last year, IPI’s Death Watch said that 11 journalists have been killed in the last two years.

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