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Pakistan tops list of journalist killings: report

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 13:39 IST
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Pakistan has topped the list of abductions and killings of journalists in South Asia during 2006, according to a report released by the South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA).

Four Pakistani journalists were killed last year, reported Online news agency.

One journalist, abducted in December 2005 allegedly by intelligence agencies in Waziristan for an expose, was found dead June 16.

Muneer Ahmed Sangi, a photographer of Sindhi-language daily Kawish and cameraman of TV channel KTN, was shot dead while covering a clash between two tribes in Larkana May 29.

In Dera Ismail Khan, Maqbool Hussain Siyal, district correspondent of Online news agency, was gunned down by unidentified assailants on his way to meeting Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Nawab Azek September 14, SAFMA said on Thursday.

The fourth victim was Malik Muhammad Ismail, editor of Pakistan Press International (PPI) in Islamabad.

The motive behind his killing could not be ascertained.

Tribal areas, especially Wana and Bajour, have acquired the status of "no-go areas" for journalists where harassment by intelligence agencies due to military operations remained at its peak.

Instead of providing security, law enforcement agencies worked as a big threat to journalists' security and an impediment to their work, the report said.

Assaults on journalists continued, by politicians or law enforcement agencies.

A superintendent of police in Peshawar beat up Wahidur Rehman Khalil, a correspondent of the AVT Khyber television channel, while covering the killing of a tribesman.

Omar Soomro, a reporter of Daily Sham, was tortured and humiliated after being kidnapped by armed men.

Images of him with a tonsured head and shaven moustache were relayed on a television channel, the report said.

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