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Journalist killed outside press club

(IFJ/IFEX) - February 19, 2010 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) mourns journalist Ashiq Ali Mangi, who was murdered in Pakistan's Sindh province on February 17, 2010, a day before authorities in Swat prevented journalists from commemorating the one-year anniversary of the murder of television reporter Musa Khan Khel.

Mangi, 30, a reporter for Mehran TV, was shot dead outside the Khairpur Press Club by an unidentified gunman, according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate.

It is believed Mangi may have been targeted for his professional work after airing footage of a feud been two local groups on the privately owned Mehran TV.

The PFUJ meanwhile reported that the Swat Administration imposed a sudden curfew from early yesterday in order to prevent media personnel attending the Swat Press Club to mark one year since Khan Khel disappeared and his bullet-ridden body was found.

Journalists from throughout North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and a PFUJ delegation were scheduled to attend the club, while a similar event was to be held at the Peshawar Press Club.

The PFUJ said the Swat curfew was lifted in the afternoon.

According to local news reports, the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Sumsam Ali Bukhari, acknowledged the failure of Pakistan's authorities and the Interior Ministry to uphold their commitment to arrest those suspected of killing Khan Khel and Rawalpindi-based senior reporter Raja Asad Khan in 2009.

His acknowledgement followed a walkout by several journalists covering national parliamentary proceedings in Islamabad yesterday in protest at the failure of local and national governments to arrest and punish perpetrators of violence against journalists.

Bukhari assured journalists, in a statement reportedly delivered to the parliamentary Press Room, that the Sindh provincial government had been instructed to conduct a thorough investigation into Mangi's murder.

"The IFJ stands in solidarity with the PFUJ and those journalists who continue to demand serious and tangible action in investigating the murders of their colleagues," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"The IFJ welcomes Minister Bukhari's commitment to arrest and prosecute those responsible, and urges power-holders to ensure immediate investigations into all murders of journalists without the journalists' community having to demand such action."
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