Ijaz Mengal was shot dead when returning from a market by
unidentified men on motorcycles near the Chamrok Hotel in Khuzdar, in the
restive Baluchistan province. Mengal, who worked as a stringer for the Daily Intekhab newspaper and for Daily Khabardar, also served as a clerk
at the education ministry.
Mengal covered politics and militant
activity in the area, according to a local journalist familiar with Mengal’s
case. The journalist said Mengal
could have been killed because of his own work or because of the work of his
brother, Daily Intekhab reporter
Riaz Mengal, who was forced
into exile in 2007 following death threats.
Riaz Mengal also told CPJ that his own journalistic activities could
have been a reason for the separatist group’s decision to target his brother.
An individual who identified himself as Goharm Baloch from the
Baloch National Army separatist group claimed responsibility for Mengal’s
death, accusing the journalist of acting as a spy for intelligence agencies, news
Journalists in Baluchistan work in a dangerous climate, under
pressure to report in line with the views of several elements, including
pro-Taliban groups, security forces, and intelligence agencies, as well as
Baluch separatists and state-sponsored anti-separatist militant groups.