The mutilated body of Balochistan-based journalist Haji Abdul Razzak was identified by his family today, one day after it was found in Karachi, Pakistan’s business capital. Missing since 24 March, Razzak was tortured to death.
“We urge the Pakistani authorities to fully investigate Razzak’s disappearance and barbaric murder in order to establish the motive and determine whether it was linked to his work as a journalist,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“Journalists in Balochistan and the Tribal Areas are constantly the targets of intimidation and violence, and the impunity enjoyed by those who murder them just sustains this climate of terror. The authorities must end it at once by pursuing this investigation to its conclusion.”
As well as working for the Balochi-language daily Tawar, Razzak was linked to a Balochi political party. The investigation must determine whether either of these activities was linked to the motive for his appalling murder.
Razzak’s body was found alongside another mutilated body. His family was contacted yesterday but took 24 hours to identify him because the body was so badly mutilated that only the arms and legs were sufficiently intact to enable identification.
Four other Balochi journalists have been killed this year. Imran Shaikh, Saifur Rehman and Mohammad Iqbal were killed in a double bombing in Quetta on 10 January. Mehmood Ahmed Afridi was gunned down by men on a motorcycle in Karat on 1 March.
If it turns out that Razzak’s death was linked to his work, it would bring to seven the number of journalists killed this year in Pakistan. One of the world’s deadliest countries for media personnel, Pakistan is ranked 159th out of 179 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.