Journalist murdered

New York, January 29, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the murder of Sajid Tanoli, a reporter with the regional Urdu-language daily Shumal, who was shot and killed today in the town of Manshera in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province

Police filed murder charges today against Manshera’s local government head, Khalid Javed. The police have also arrested Javed’s brother and son as accomplices to the murder, said a local journalist.

Tanoli, 35, was killed after he wrote an article on January 26 about an allegedly illegal liquor business run by Javed. Enraged by the article, Javed filed a libel suit against Shumal on January 27, according to local journalists. Then, two days later, he shot Tanoli, who died instantly, and fled the scene. He remains at large.

“We mourn the tragic loss of our colleague Sajid Tanoli and call on Pakistani authorities to find the accused and to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper.