Baloch journalist kidnapped and murdered
Abdul Hameed Hayatan, 26, popularly known as Lala Hameed Baloch, reporter and photographer of daily “Karachi” and “Tawar” and “Royal TV” and the President of Baloch National Movement (BNM) Gwadar Chapter, was abducted from southwestern port city of Gwadar on October 25, 2010 and shot dead.
The dead body of Hayatan was found at a deserted place in Sami river of Turbat district of Balochistan province on November 18, 2010. He had been shot in the head and chest. Along with the dead body, a gruesome note was also found which read: “A Gift of Eid for the Balochs”.
Qazi Dad Muhammad, General Secretary of Gwadar Press Club, told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that on October 25, eyewitnesses informed him that Hayatan was returning from marriage ceremony of his relative, in Karwaat region where some plain-cloth security personnel tried to stop him at a check post. Hayatan turned his bike and tried to escape but the security personnel opened fire on him. He received a bullet in his hand and fell down from his bike. The security personnel took him along with his bike. Family members believed that Hayatan was abducted by security personnel like many others previously abducted in similar fashion from different areas of Balochistan.
Muhammad said journalists’ community in Gwadar and elsewhere in Balochistan had been protesting since the disappearance of Hayatan. Now the Press Club has decided to observe three days of mourning while a black flag would be hoisted on the Press Club building. Muhammad said journalists believed that Hayatan’s critical reporting of the Pakistani authorities and his support for the Baloch National Movement (BNM) were the motive for his abduction and murder.
Hayatan had played a role in establishing Gwadar Press Club. He also avidly wrote in favour of Baloch Armed Struggle. He faced a trial for one year for taking pictures of police officers.
According to press reports, the dead body of another person Hamid Ismail, a mechanic, who had also been kidnapped from Turbat, was recovered too at the same place. No one has claimed the responsibility of murder.
The recovery of dead bodies of nine Baloch political workers, students and a journalist from different parts of Balochistan, within only 36 hours, has sent shock waves across the province. Enraged Balochs have observed a complete shutter down and wheel jam strike in many districts of Balochistan.
Abdul Haleem, brother of Hayatan, himself a reporter for daily “Intikhab”, told PPF that Hayatan was going to be married in November. Haleem said he had requested the authorities for recovery of his brother but there was no response. Hayatan has left behind a large family of six bothers, three sisters and old parents to mourn his death.
Journalists in various cities of Baluchistan including Gwadar, Khuzdar, Pasni, Turbat, Noshki, Kharan have strongly condemned the murder of Hayatan. They urged the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take notice of the deteriorating state of human rights situation in Balochistan.
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)