Political group names 12 journalists as “enemies”

MAY 22, 2006
Posted May 30, 2007

Zafar Abbas, Dawn
Azhar Abbas, Dawn TV
Mazhar Abbas, Agence France-Presse;
Aneeq Ahmed, ARY TV
Ayaz Amir, Dawn
Zahid Hussain, Geo TV
Asfar Imam, Aaj TV
Zarar Khan, Associated Press
Shahid Masood, Geo TV
Sajjad Mir, TV One
Shaheen Sehbai, ARY TV
Irfan Siddiqui, Nawa-e-Waqt

The Mohajir Rabita Council (MRC), an ethnic political group in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh, named 12 Pakistani journalists as “enemies.” The group alleged the journalists’ reporting fostered the violence that occurred during May 12 protest rallies in Karachi over the suspension of Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftekhar Mohammed Chaudhary. More than 40 people died in the demonstrations. The MRC is considered to be closely associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the party allied with President Pervez Musharraf.

In a statement, the MRC said the organization had established a special unit to publicly identify its “enemies.” The Karachi Union of Journalists described the group’s statement as a serious threat to press freedom, saying that it would hold MQM responsible if any harm came to the named journalists. The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists called the announcement a “hit list.”