Journalist gunned down in Karachi

New York, April 4, 2011–Amid ongoing violence, police in Karachi should thoroughly investigate the motive behind the shooting death of crime reporter Zaman Ibrahim on Saturday night.

Ibrahim was riding his motorcycle when two motorcyclists following shot him in the head, according to Pakistani media reports. He had worked for several small local Urdu papers and was involved with a local group called the People’s Aman Committee. The group is the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party’s militant counterpoint to the armed militias of the opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Awami National Party. The group is known for its violent tactics.

“The shooting of journalists in Karachi has become a reality that reporters on the street have had to live with,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “The city’s police must investigate the motive behind the killing of Zaman Ibrahim to counter the continued threat under which the city’s journalists must work.”

Ibrahim, 40, was a resident of the area of the city where he was killed had two children. Although he had worked for several different newspapers for several years, his most recent job was at the vernacular Daily Extra News. The police told reporters investigating the shooting that they believe he was killed over an internal party dispute.

On January 13, Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar was shot and killed in Karachi, shortly after covering gang violence in the city. There have been no arrests in the case. On March 22, a senior journalist and vice president of the Karachi Union of Journalists, Mohammad Rafique Baloch, was abducted and abused with no arrests made.

Pakistan was the deadliest country in the world in 2010, according to CPJ data. The country also ranked 10th on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are regularly killed and authorities fail to solve the crimes.