Death of local reporter in Pakistan must be fully investigated

New York, January 11, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists joins with our colleagues in Pakistan in calling for a full investigation into the killing of Ilyas Nizzar, who was found dead in Pidarak, in the volatile Baluchistan province, in Pakistan’s southwest, on January 5. Nizzar, a general assignment reporter with the Baluch-language magazine Darwanth, had been missing and assumed abducted since December 28. According to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Nizzar’s body was found on a dirt road near the small town of Pidrak, about 90 miles (140 kilometers) west of Karachi on Wednesday.

It is not clear whether Nizzar was killed because of his work as a journalist. His body was found alongside that of a member of the Baluch Students’ Organization, Qambar Chakar, who had disappeared from his home in Turbat on November 27.

“Pakistan has a long, harsh record of impunity for those who kill journalists, and we hope that this murder will not remain unsolved as have so many,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Ilyas Nizzar’s death must be fully investigated and his killers brought to justice.”

Pakistan ranked at the top of the list of countries in which journalists are killed for their work in 2010, according to CPJ data. The country also ranked 10th on CPJ’s Global Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are slain and killers go free.