UN agency defending press freedom deplores killing of Pakistani journalist

The head of the United Nations agency defending press freedom today condemned the murder of Pakistani journalist Munir Shakar and urged that his killers be brought to justice.

Mr. Shakar was a correspondent for the Online News Network and Balochi TV Sabzbagh.

He was shot dead on 14 August while on his way home from the Press Club in Khuzdar in the province of Balochistan.

“It is essential that the perpetrators of this crime be brought to justice as soon as possible,”

Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a news release.

“Journalists must be provided with reasonable conditions of security if they are to exercise the basic human right of freedom of expression and provide people with the independent information they require to exercise their democratic rights responsibly,” she added.

Mr. Shakar is the 13th journalist killed in Pakistan this year, according to the Rural Media Network, a Pakistani nongovernmental organization.

Just last week, the UN human rights office urged the Pakistani Government to investigate numerous reports of abductions, disappearances and extrajudicial killings, particularly of journalists.

Pakistan has been cited by various journalist groups as one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, places for media professionals.

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