IFJ Shocked by “Sickeningly Brutal” Murder of Senior Journalist in Pakistan
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is appalled by the brutal murder of Mohammad Ismail, a senior journalist and bureau chief of Pakistan Press International (PPI), who was attacked by unknown assailants in Islamabad on November 1.
According to an IFJ affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Ismail’s body was found in the early hours of the morning, with his head completely smashed open, having been struck with a hard and blunt object.
“The sickeningly brutal murder of Ismail highlights the worsening safety situation in Pakistan for media workers and the ongoing acts of violence that target journalists,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
“The IFJ strongly condemns this violent murder and we call upon the government to urgently take action and find Ismail’s killers so that such an horrific crime does not go unpunished,” Warren said.
Ismail’s murder comes after a string of attacks on journalists in Pakistan.
According to the PFUJ, in the last six months, four journalists have been killed, the child brothers of two journalists were murdered, four journalists were detained and tortured by intelligence agencies, and there have been scores of other violent incidents and threats to journalists. Furthermore, none of these murders have been solved.
“Ismail is the fourth journalist to be killed in the last six months and given Pakistan’s recent history of attacks, journalist abductions and assaults, it appears the safety situation for journalists in Pakistan is rapidly deteriorating,” Warren said.
The IFJ, as the organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries, demands a full investigation into Ismail’s terrible murder and into the recent kidnapping and torture of journalists Saeed Sarbazi and Mehruddin Marri, as well as the release of the inquiry report into the murder of journalist Hayatullah Khan.
“The fact authorities have failed to solve a single journalist murder case, combined with the repression of inquiry reports, indicates a deeply concerning development of a culture of impunity in Pakistan,” Warren said.
“The Pakistan government has been far too inactive in these cases and it is time for them to intervene to protect and preserve the Pakistan people’s right to a safe, free and independent media,” the IFJ president said.