UNESCO Director General condemns murders of three Pakistani journalists
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today condemned the murder of three Pakistani journalists in two separate incidents on 6 December. Altaf Chandio was shot dead in Sindh Province, Pakistan. Abdul Wahab and Pervez Khan were killed during a suicide bombing in the north-west tribal area.
“The killing of Altaf Chandio, Abdul Wahab and Pervez Khan is a denial of freedom of expression, a fundamental right that is a cornerstone of a democratic society,” said Ms Bokova. “The fact three journalists have lost their lives in two separate incidents on the same day underlines the grave dangers facing journalists in Pakistan. I call on the authorities to do their utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice, to show that impunity will not be tolerated in Pakistan.”
Altaf Chandio was the president of the Mirpur Khas press club in Sindh and the bureau chief of the private Sindhi language channel, AWAZ (voice). According to media reports, he was shot outside his house by unidentified gunmen.
Abdul Wahab, who was a journalist for Express News, and Pervez Khan, a journalist with WAQT TV, were inside a government building in Ghalanai, a town in the Federally Administered Tribal Area when a suicide bomber struck. They both perished in a double blast. A local newspaper reported that an extremist group claimed responsibility for the bombings.
According to the International Federation of Journalists, 14 journalists have been killed in Pakistan in 2010, including Altaf Chandio, Abdul Wahab and Pervez Khan.