Friday, August 19, 2011

UN: Office of the High Commissioner: Pakistan: Journalists: Forced Disappearances

Since 2007, OHCHR has received numerous reports of abductions, disappearances and extrajudicial killings in Pakistan. 

In the past eight days alone, we have received reports on the killing of one journalist, Munir Shakir, in Baluchistan on 14 August 2011, and the disappearance of another journalist, Rehmatullah Darpakhel, three days earlier in North Waziristan on 11 August.

In March, the High Commissioner spoke out about the escalating trend of journalists, human rights defenders, and political activists in Baluchistan.

We call on all responsible parties to immediately stop such violations of human rights, and we urge the Government to take immediate steps to independently investigate these cases.

In response to a follow-up question about numbers of journalists killed and abducted:

Pakistan is cited by various journalist groups as one of the most dangerous if not the most dangerous place for journalists, with at least 16 killed in 2010. 

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 9 journalists have been killed in Pakistan so far in 2011 and none of the cases have been fully investigated.

In Baluchistan alone, there were disturbing reports that 25 people,including journalists, writers, and human rights defenders,have been extrajudicially killed within the first four months of 2011.

In June 2011, a report on Baluchistan by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan revealed 143 cases of disappearances, including journalists, as of May 2011. 

The same report indicated a list of 140 missing persons, including journalists, found dead in Baluchistan between July 2010 and May 2011, which is a very large number indeed.


Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Rupert Colville, Geneva

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