Press Statement

Pakistan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa journalist killed in ambush

20 Jun, 2024

On June 18, Khyber News journalist and former President of the Landi Kotal Press Club Khalil Jibran was fatally shot while travelling home from a dinner party. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), strongly condemn Jibran’s killing and urge authorities to ensure that those responsible do not escape with impunity.

According to law enforcement and the journalist’s family, Jibran was attacked near his home while returning from a dinner party in the Sultan Khel district. Khalil Jibran was travelling with friends, including lawyer Sajjad Khan, when their vehicle was stopped by two armed men, who ordered the four passengers out of the vehicle.

When out of the car, the two armed men opened fire on Jibran before fleeing the scene. Jibran died before being able to receive medical care. Sajjad Khan also suffered minor bullet-related injuries to his hand while hiding in a nearby shelter. The journalist’s body was shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Landi Kotal for a post-mortem analysis, which further found that he had been shot a total of 19 times and suffered fractures in his arm.

According to police, Jibran had received threats from terrorists before his killing. No group has claimed responsibility for his killing. Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the unknown assailants, under murder and terrorism provisions.

The slain journalist was buried in his native village Sultan Khel, a protest demonstration before his his funeral condemning the killing, and demanding authorities take action against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan activists accused of culpability and provide compensation and free education for the journalist’s six surviving children.

Jibran is the seventh journalist killed in 2024, with fellow Khyber Pakhtunkhwa journalist Kamran Dawar fatally shot in a targeted attack in Miranshah on May 21. Balochistani journalist Muhammad Siddique Mengal was killed on May 3, Punjabi journalists Mehar Ashfaq Siyal and Sagheer Ahmed Laar werekilled on May 15 and March 14 respectively, while Sindh journalist Nasrullah Gadani died on May 24, three days after he had been shot.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) said: “The culprits should be arrested immediately, and a thorough investigation should be carried out into this attack and his family should be compensated”.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The IFJ strongly condemns the killing of journalist Khalil Jibran. The death of seven journalists in the first six months of 2024 must serve as a wake-up call to Pakistani authorities to implement and enforce protections for the media. Jibran’s killing must be met with an immediate and thorough investigation from authorities.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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