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Journalist's killer sentenced to life imprisonment in Pakistan

Officials from the Pakistan Human Rights Commission present their report in Islamabad, Pakistan, in April 2014.
Officials from the Pakistan Human Rights Commission present their report in Islamabad, Pakistan, in April 2014.

B.K. Bangash, AP

This statement was originally published on on 17 March 2016.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in welcoming the conviction in the 2013 murder case of a journalist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in northwest Pakistan.

Today, March 16, the District and Sessions Court in Karak district of Pakistan convicted Aminullah of the murder of Jang Group journalist Ayub Khattak. Aminullah was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined 5 million rupees (USD50,000) for the 2013 murder. Aminullah's brother, Khood Niaz, was acquitted after he was accused of being an accomplice.

Khattak was killed on October 11, 2013 when Aminullah fired shots at the journalist near his residence in Takht Nusrati area. The murder was linked to Khattak's reporting in Karak Times about drug business in the area in which Aminullah was involved. Aminullah had threatened Khattak prior to the murder.

Aminullah's conviction is only the third in Pakistan, where the IFJ has recorded over 100 journalist murder cases since 2000.

The PFUJ said: “We welcome the verdict and believe that all slain journalists in Pakistan should get justice. The state should ensure that murders are investigated properly and that the murderers brought to book.”

The IFJ said: “The conviction is a step towards reining in the culture of impunity for crimes against journalists in Pakistan. The IFJ welcomes the conviction and supports efforts by the Pakistani government and authorities to end the culture of violence and impunity. However, more than 100 slain journalists' families still await justice and the Pakistani government should do everything possible to urgently deliver justice.”

The two other cases of journalist murders where convictions have been made are that of American Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed after being kidnapped in 2002, and Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar, who was shot dead in 2011.

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