October 11

UN agency deplores slaying of another Pakistani journalist

17 May 2011The head of the United Nations agency charged with promoting press freedom today condemned the murder of another journalist in Pakistan, where at least 15 journalists have been the victims of targeted assassinations since 2002. Nasrullah Afridi, a reporter for Khyber news agency, died on 10 May when his car exploded in the city of Peshawar. He had also worked for Pakistan Television and for the Urdu-language newspaper Mashreq. Mr. Afridi, the President of the Tribal Union of Journalists, had been in Peshawar fleeing threats from militant groups, according to a statement issued by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The agency’s Director-General Irina Bokova said she was deeply concerned about the high number of journalists who have been slain in Pakistan in recent years. “The authorities must spare no effort in bringing the culprits of such crimes to justice, to ensure that journalists can pursue their important work,” she said. “The time has come for serious action against those who use violence to silence the all-important voice of the press.” UNESCO noted that the latest killing occurred just one week after Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari told the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international non-governmental organization (NGO), that he would pursue justice for journalists killed on the job. read more