Remembering Abdul Razzak Johra — A journalist murdered for reporting on drug dealers
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) pays tribute to the work of Royal TV network reporter Abdul Razzak Johra, who was murdered in Mianwali district in Pakistan’s Punjab province on November 3, 2008.
Johra’s case is one of the few cases in Pakistan where the murder of a journalist went to court and the accused were sentenced.
Following Johra’s murder, local drug dealers were believed to be responsible. Royal TV said that Johra had prepared several reports on drug related crime and he was believed to have received threats for some time.
A First Information Report (FIR) was registered at the District Mianwali Police Station on the report of Taj Muahammad, Johra’s brother, against two accused — Ahmed and Hussain.
As per the FIR, the accused suspected Johra to be an informant of a raid that police carried out.
Speaking to PPF, a senior member of Royal News Kamran Saqi said that Razzaq had received serious threats due to his reporting of local drug dealers which was aired on the television network.
“He was a brave and passionate journalist,” he remembered.
Johra’s case went to a sessions court where on October 12, 2009, one of the accused, Munir Hussain, was given the death sentence while the other accused, Riaz Ahmed was acquitted as the prosecution could not prove the charge against him. Hussain was also directed to pay Rs100,000 as legal compensation.
Hussain had appealed to the Lahore High Court and on October 7, 2013, the LHC dismissed the order of the sessions judge and changed Hussain’s punishment to life imprisonment instead of the death sentence.
Muhammad told PPF that he was not happy with the decision of the court. He lamented that no one had helped the slain journalist’s family.