September 28, 2020
Journalist Abid Hussain Abidi, affiliated with local newspaper Jurm-o-Saza, was shot dead in Mandi Bahaudin in the Malikwal district on September 25 by unidentified gunmen.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Pakistan affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), condemn the brutal killing, allegedly over the journalist’s reporting, and urge an impartial investigation into the murder.
Two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire, targeting Abidi when the journalist and his brother Muhammad Asif were returning home. The journalist sustained severe injuries to his legs and was taken to the local Malikwal hospital. Given the severity of the injuries, the hospital referred the journalist to Malikwal district hospital for further treatment. Abidi died on the way to the district hospital.
According to Abidi’s brother Asif, the gunmen at first shouted that their attack was in retaliation for a report Abidi had published. They then shot at Abidi and fled the scene. Asif filed a First Information Report (FIR) in Malikwal Police Station.
According to the PFUJ, police have arrested one suspect, allegedly involved in Abidi’s murder.
Abidi is the seventh journalist to be murdered in Pakistan in 2020. On September 5, journalist Shaheena Shaheen was shot dead in her home in Turbat, Kech. Other killed journalists in Pakistan in 2020 include Anwar Jan, Rao Ghulam Murtaza, Zulfiqar Ali, Javed Khan, and Aziz Memon.
PFUJ Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem said: “The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) strongly condemns the killing of the journalist Abidi. The PFUJ demands the police arrest the culprits immediately and put them behind the bar while compensation be given to the bereaved family.”
IFJ General-Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The tragic killing of Abid Hussain Abidi in retaliation for a news report is another sad reminder of the fragile situation for the safety and security of journalists in Pakistan. The IFJ calls on authorities to act swiftly and conduct an impartial investigation into the murder of Abidi and the other journalists killed in the line of duty and hold their murderers accountable.”—IFJ media release
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