Report finds irregularities in police inquiry into journalist’s murder

Press freedom advocates call for independent re-investigation


Our Correspondent June 17, 2021

KARACHI:

Press freedom advocates have called for an independent reinvestigation into the murder of journalist Zubair Mujahid after a new report, published on Wednesday, found significant errors in the official police investigation.

 Mujahid was killed in November 2007 during the turbulent downfall of former military ruler General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf's regime.

Working as a correspondent from Mirpurkhas for one of Pakistan's largest Urdu newspapers, the Daily Jang, Mujahid's reporting exposed local corruption and human rights abuses.

 His reporting led to the dismissal of various police officers and consequently, he received many threats from individuals within the department. The same department was then tasked with investigating the murder.

Read more: Fawad says media authority won’t be set up without stakeholders’ input

The report, 'Breaking the Silence: An investigation into the murder of Zubair Mujahid' was published as part of an initiative, called 'A Safer World for the Truth,' launched by the Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The report found major loopholes in the official investigation. For instance, according to the report, the police investigators did not analyse the bullet with which Zubair was shot dead nor did they search for eyewitnesses to the crime.

The Mirpurkhas Police did not respond to the report's authors' requests for comments. Press freedom advocates have called for an effective and impartial investigation into the journalist's murder and demand that it be done under the auspices of the Sindh High Court.

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