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IFJ calls for prompt inquiry into murder of senior journalist

(IFJ/IFEX) - 17 September 2010 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on Pakistani authorities to launch an immediate inquiry in the murder of Mujeebur Rehman Saddiqui, senior correspondent of Daily Pakistan newspaper, who was shot dead by gunmen yesterday in the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa region, north west of Pakistan.

"The authorities must move fast to catch the killers of our colleague," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "This second murder of a journalist in as many days puts the media on notice for more attacks and they must be stopped."

According to Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, Mujeebur, 39, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen as he was leaving the mosque after evening prayers. The PFUJ says militants are suspected for the journalist's murder as he had reportedly received death threats from armed groups for his independent reporting.

The victim, a talented poet, had worked as a journalist for the last 20 years and was a founder member of the Malakand Press Club, says the PFUJ, which has also demanded an investigation into his murder.

The killing of Mujeebur comes two days after another journalist, Misri Khan, was gunned down in Hangu, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on 13 September. Khan, 50, worked for Daily Ausaf newspaper and was President of the Hangu Union of Journalists.

The IFJ says that journalists in remote areas of Pakistan are victims of the lawlessness which is being exploited by ruthless groups who rule through violence. "The authorities must restore law and order in this region to ensure that civilians, including journalists are protected," added White.
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