Press Statement

Pakistan: Family of killed Sukkur journalist link brutal murder to his work

17 Aug, 2023

Sukkur Police have registered the case of assassinated senior journalist Jan Mohammad after the journalist’s brother petitioned a report saying he was killed for his public interest journalism. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), strongly condemns the brutal assassination and calls for an urgent investigations.

The FIR (first Information report) was filed at the C-Section police station in Sukkur on the complaint of Karamullah, the son of Muhammad Paryal Mahar and elder brother of deceased journalist Jan Muhammad Mahar, under Sections 302, 120-B, 337 H(2), 440, 147, 148, 149 PPC, 6/7ATA against the assailants and their facilitators. He claimed the accused viciously attacked and killed his brother Jan Muhammad Mahar as part of a deep-seated conspiracy.

According to the text of the (FIR), journalist Jan Muhammad Meher had used his journalism to raise the voice for the country’s poor people, which the influential people were afraid of. It claims those influential people threatened and “wanted to divert my brother”, so he was targeted and killed.

According to the complainant, the accused, who included Sher Mohammad Mahar, Naseer Mahar, Qurban Mahar, Roshan Mahar, Gulzar, and Mir Mohammad Mahar, were riding two motorbikes when they opened fire on his brother Jan Muhammad Mahar, who was in his car. The spray of gunshots killed the journalist. The FIR said the accused in the FIR plotted to kill his brother and that his brother had been receiving life threats for quite some time.

According to Sukkur Police, a case was registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act in the Police Station C Section against 6 named and 3 unknown persons. Police have arrested some 15 suspected in the murder case through geofencing. According to the postmortem re­port, the deceased died of gunshot wounds.

The IFJ’s South Asia Press Freedom Report 2022-2023, recorded at least 101 media rights violations in Pakistan. The IFJ verified cases of five journalists killed in the period May  2022 to April 31, 2023. A further 30 attacks were recorded against journalists.

The PFUJ said: “We demand the Provincial Government of Sindh and its inspector general of police to immediately arrest the killers and give compensation to the family of the killed journalist, Jan Muhammad Mehar.”

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The IFJ strongly condemns this brutal and tragic killing and calls for a thorough and swift investigation to locate his killers and determine the motivation for this heinous crime.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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