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IFJ demands inquiry as another journalist is killed in Balochistan

(IFJ/IFEX) - 10 January 2011 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), in demanding an immediate investigation into the death of Ilyas Nazar, who was found dead in Pidarak, Balochistan, in Pakistan's south-west, on January 5.

Nazar, a journalist with the Baloch-language magazine Darwanth, was reportedly abducted on the night of December 28 while travelling from Balochistan's capital, Quetta, to his home in Turbat in the south of the province. His body was found alongside that of Baloch Students' Organisation-Azad (BSO Azad) central executive committee member Qambar Chakar, who had disappeared from his home in Turbat on November 27.

It is unclear whether Nazar was killed because of his work as a journalist, or if he was connected to the BSO Azad or Chakar. Both men suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest, a hallmark of many of the recent killings in Balochistan.

"Authorities in Balochistan must act quickly to investigate Nazar's death, to send a message to those responsible that the murder and abduction of journalists will not continue to go unpunished," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"The disturbing frequency with which media personnel were attacked and killed in Balochistan in 2010 must end."

According the IFJ's 2010 report on journalists killed while conducting their work, Balochistan was the most dangerous region of the most dangerous country in the world for journalists last year. Of 97 journalists killed worldwide last year, 15 died in Pakistan. Of that number, six deaths were reported in Balochistan.

The PFUJ reports that news of Nazar's death comes amid concerns for the welfare of Siddiq Eido, a journalist from Pasni, also in Balochistan, who has also been missing since December 28.

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