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Journalist murdered after reporting on drug-related crime; television correspondent and cameraman temporarily detained

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Shocked by Killing of Another Journalist in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked to learn of the murder of Abdul Razzak Johra, a reporter with the Royal TV network, in Mianwali district in Pakistan's Punjab province.

According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, local drug dealers are believed to be responsible for the murder on November 3.

Johra, 45, was reportedly dragged out of his home by six armed men, before being killed.

Royal TV said Johra had prepared several reports on drug-related crime, and he is believed to have received threats for some time.

One suspect was reportedly arrested on November 11.

Seven journalists have been killed in Pakistan this year. The most recent incident was on November 8, when Qari Mohammad Shoaib was shot dead by security forces in the conflict-ridden Swat valley in north-western Pakistan.

"These past few days have been extremely distressing for journalists in Pakistan," IFJ Asia- Pacific said.

"With seven killings so far this year, Pakistan has the unfortunate distinction of being the most dangerous country for journalists and media workers in the Asia-Pacific region."

On November 12, the PFUJ and the All Pakistan Newspapers Employees' Confederation (APNEC) led journalists across the country in demonstrations against the killings of their colleagues, and demanded authorities fully investigate and bring to justice those responsible.

The PFUJ also condemned the temporary detention on November 11 of AAJ TV correspondent Mehboob Shah and cameraman Mohammad Sami in Jamrud in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Local authorities detained the pair as they sought to report on the funeral of six people. They were freed after images were removed from their camera, although a sequestered mobile phone has not been returned.

The IFJ extends its solidarity to the PFUJ and APNEC and joins in their demands for an end to impunity for attacks on journalists and media personnel in Pakistan.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries.

For further information on the Shoaib case, see:

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