Protests held against murder of journalist
KARACHI: Two parallel protests were arranged at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday against the murder of a journalist based in Larkana.
The first protest was organised by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), followed by another held by the Karachi Union of Journalists.
Shan Dahr, 45, bureau chief of Ab Tak television channel in Larkana, was killed by two bullets fired by unknown assailants on Tuesday night in Warah, a town on the outskirts of Sindh. His body was brought to a hospital in the Larkana district but it remained unattended for over 27 hours, journalists claimed.
‘Stop killing journalists’ and ‘Provide us with security’, chanted the journalist fraternity which had gathered to express their anger at the authorities’ failure to protect Dahr.
“The new year has unfortunately begun with bad news. All journalists should understand that their lives are precious. Breaking news is not important; journalists are important,” said Amir Latif, secretary of the Karachi Press Club.
The journalists dispelled the impression that Dahr died of a stray bullet during celebratory fire on New Year’s eve as some media reports suggested. “His death occurred at 11pm on December 31. There is no celebratory fire at that time. It was a targeted attack,” said Latif.
When asked if Dahr was working on any sensitive story, Latif said: “Rural Sindh is known for tribal feuds and local chieftains. Sometimes you have to pay an uncommitted price for working in an area where the state has no writ.”
The journalists demanded that a thorough investigation of the murder take place. “If investigation does not start right away, we will head to the Chief Minister’s House and protest there,” said Latif.
The protesters maintained that the government should properly launch a deweaponisation campaign in the province, saying that unlicensed weapons were a rage these days. “Anyone can murder anyone with impunity and escape any legal consequences,” said a member of the PFUJ.
Eleven journalists were killed in 2013, according to a report released by the Media Monitoring Cell of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE).The report stated that five of the journalists were killed when they were covering bomb blasts while six others lost their lives in target killings.