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First journalist killed in 2014: IFJ condemns murder of Pakistan journalist Shan Dahar

UPDATE: Pakistan Press Foundation confers 2014 PPF Press Freedom Award to slain journalist Shan Dahar (PPF, 2 May 2014)

On 2 January 2014, the International Federation of Journalists called on authorities in Pakistan to carry out an immediate investigation into the murder of journalist Shan Dahar (Odhor) in the Badha area of the country's Larkana district.

According to reports, Dahar, a senior reporter for the Aaab Tak News Channel, was shot by unidentified assailants on his way home last Tuesday, 31 December 2013. He was taken to hospital with critical injuries and passed away in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Following Dahar's death, a series of protests led by IFJ affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), have been held by journalists across Pakistan to call for the government to step up its efforts to protect the safety of journalists in the country.

"We express our deepest sympathies with the family and colleagues of the highly respected journalist Shan Dahar, who we believe is the first journalist to be killed in 2014," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "We call for authorities in Pakistan to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into his murder and to take every step necessary to ensure that the perpetrators of this horrific crime face the full weight of justice."

On 31 December, the IFJ released its annual list of journalists and media staff killed in 2013 which showed that Pakistan remains one of the deadliest countries in the world for media workers, with 10 journalists and media staff killed in the country last year.

In response to the continued violence and brutality against journalists, in October 2013 the IFJ launched its End Impunity campaign which is calling on the governments of Pakistan, Iraq and Russia to investigate killings of journalists and bring their perpetrators to justice.

"Our End Impunity campaign is calling for an end to violence against journalists in Pakistan which has recorded some of the highest journalists' death tools in recent years," said Boumelha. "We believe that the lack of accountability for acts of violence against journalists in Pakistan reinforces the culture of impunity and is the main reason why journalists in the country remain in the firing line.

"Authorities in Pakistan must take the action required to ensure that the perpetrators of such extreme acts of violence against journalists answer for their crimes."

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