LAHORE: South Asian Free Media Association (Safma) and South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) have “strongly condemned” the killing of a television reporter in Balochistan and have demanded an investigation into his murder, a joint statement said Thursday.
According to the police the 37-year-old Abdul Haq Baloch, who worked for ARY News, was shot dead while driving home. He was around 100 yards from the local press club in the town of Khuzdar, 230 kilometres south of the provincial capital Quetta.
“Journalists have been continuously targeted over the last few years. Authorities must act swiftly to end this cycle of violence and impunity,” Safma Secretary General Imtiaz Alam and SAMC President Kumar Ketkar said in a joint statement.
“Safma and SAMC support calls for an immediate inquiry into the death of Baloch, who was also the general secretary of Khuzdar Press Club, and all other journalists abducted, tortured and killed in Balochistan. It has become virtually impossible to report independently,” the heads of the media rights bodies said.
“Threats to the safety of journalists, especially those working in the conflict areas are mounting. The authorities should work towards ensuring that the journalists work in a safe environment and do not become victims of anti-media attacks,” they said.
“Balochistan is a dangerous place for journalists to work in. Haq is the 22nd journalist to have lost his life in the line of duty in the restive province. But none of the cases has been seriously investigated and no one has been arrested or punished for these heinous crimes,” Alam and Ketkar said.