Pakistan: Reporter killed by masked gunmen

New York, September 15, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists called today on Pakistani authorities to conduct a thorough and timely investigation into the shooting death of journalist Maqbool Hussain Sail.

Two masked gunmen on a motorcycle shot Sail late Thursday in Dera Ismail Khan, 175 miles (280 kilometers) southwest of Islamabad, according to the Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP), and media reports. Sail, 32, died on his way to the hospital. CPJ is investigating to determine whether Sail’s murder was related to his work as a journalist. Police are investigating the case, but have made no arrests.

Sail, who worked for the Pakistani Online News Network, was on his way to interview Nawab Azek, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians at the Dera Ismail Khan Press Club.

“We call on the police to reveal all the facts about Sail’s death. We know from past experience that the government seldom investigates or reports on the deaths of journalists,”

“We call on the police to carry out a vigorous investigation into this crime, said CPJ’s executive director Joel Simon. “ Too many murders of journalists have gone unpunished in Pakistan.”

During a CPJ mission to Pakistan in July, officials promised to review investigative records and reveal government information on the deaths of Pakistani journalists killed. To read the report click here