Pak Journalist shot dead during robbery bid

ANI
·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Quetta [Pakistan], April 25 (ANI): A journalist was shot and killed during a robbery bid in the Bank Colony area of Quetta on Saturday evening, said police officials.

Police said the journalist, Abdul Wahid Raisani, was going home from his office yesterday evening when robbers tried to snatch his motorcycle near Qambrani Road. During the ensuing struggle, the robbers fired shots, one of which struck Raisani's chest, they added according to Dawn.

The Balochistan Union of Journalists strongly condemned the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of those responsible for Raisani's death.

Earlier this week, senior journalist and former chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (Pemra), Absar Alam, was shot in Islamabad. In a video shared by journalist Asad Toor, Alam could be heard saying he was shot at while walking outside his home.

Dawn further reported that earlier this month, a local journalist, Waseem Alam, was shot dead by unidentified persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Karak.

At least 10 journalists were murdered and several others threatened, kidnapped, tortured and arrested in Pakistan on trumped-up charges while discharging their professional responsibilities in 2020 alone, according to the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors' (CPNE) Media Freedom Report 2020, according to Dawn.

No action has so far been taken against those responsible for torturing and killing journalists and it seems that such persons enjoy impunity. "It is a matter of grave concern that the legal system of the country has become useless in protecting and providing justice to journalists," said the report.

Pakistan continues to remain one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, and more and more scribes are being arrested for criticising the country's Army under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act 2016 (PECA).

PECA, which is seen as the draconian tool to silence free speech, criminalises any speech considered to be "blasphemous" and even those who criticise state institutions.

Recently, a new section was added in PECA stating that those who intentionally ridicule, bring into disrepute or defame the Armed Forces of Pakistan will be sentenced up to two years and be fined over USD 3,018.

Pakistan has been ranked 145th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders's (RSF) 2020 World Press Freedom Index, three places lower than in 2019. (ANI)