Pakistani journalist tortured, killed in Karachi

New York, April 19, 2012–Pakistani authorities must thoroughly investigate the death of prominent editor and writer Murtaza Razvi, determine a motive in his killing, and apprehend all those responsible, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

The body of Razvi, the senior editor and head of magazines at Dawn Media Group, was found in a friend’s apartment in a relatively wealthy residential area of Karachi on Thursday, according to news reports. His body bore torture marks and his hands were tied, the English-language daily Dawn reported, adding that the journalist “had apparently been strangled to death.”

Razvi, a columnist and political analyst for Dawn Media Group, had worked as a journalist for more than 20 years. Before working as the group’s magazine editor, he worked as Dawn‘s resident editor in the city of Lahore. In 2009, he published the book Musharraf: The Years in Power, which detailed the rise and fall of the former president of Pakistan.

Razvi’s wife reported him missing after he did not come home on Wednesday night, news reports said. It was not immediately known what his movements were prior to his death.

Razvi’s family cautioned the media against speculation that he had been murdered in reprisal for his work and told local journalists that he had no personal enemies, news reports said. Local journalists told CPJ that the motive of the murder was unclear.

“We offer our deep condolences to the family and colleagues of Murtaza Razvi,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator.

Razvi is survived by his wife and three daughters.

CPJ data show that Pakistan was the deadliest country for journalists in 2010 and 2011, and the killings have been met with near-perfect impunity over the years.