12 journalists killed in one month, PEC demands justice

Geneva: Expressing shock over the murder of a record number of 12 journalists in the first month of 2022, the global media safety and rights body Press Emblem Campaign demands justice and adequate
compensation to the bereaved families.

PEC laments that another journalist has been cowardly assassinated in Mexico. The slain journalist is Roberto Toledo, of 55 years of age, gunned down on Monday, January 31st, 2022, in the municipality of
Zitacuaro, Michoacan. He worked for the Monitor Michoacan news outlet.

Toledo is the 4th journalist killed in less than a month in Mexico. If the current continues, we could be having one journalist per week being killed in the county.

It also condemns the murder of second Pakistani journalist within a week and urges Prime Minister Imran Khan to punish the perpetrators under the law. Mentionable is that Ghulam Murtaza Shar (32), who was
associated with private Urdu news channel Ummat, faced bullets from two armed men riding a two-wheeler at Jhol town of Sindh  province in western Pakistan on 30 January.  Shar sustained multiple injuries in the attack and later succumbed on his way to the hospital. The local authority claimed that Shar was killed because of marriage disputes.

Earlier, Lahore-based journalist Hasnain Shah (45) was killed on 24 January by two bike-riders outside the local press club in Simla Pahari point. The murder of Shah, who was a prominent crime reporter
working for a local news channel, witnessed massive outrages by the journo-bodies across the south Asian nation and many of them demonstrated their anger on the streets.

“The first month of 2022 has brought depressing news as twelve media workers had lost their lives to assailants. Mexico witnessed the murder of four scribes (namely Jose Luis Gamboa, Margarito Martinez,
Lourdes Maldonado and Roberto Toledo), followed by Pakistan (Hasnain Shah & Murtaza Shar),  Haiti (Amady John Wesley & Wilguens Louissaint), Kazakhstan (Muratkhan Bazarbayev), Myanmar (Pu Tui Dim), Honduras (Pablo Isabel Hernandez Rivera) and Phillppines (Jaynard Angeles),” said Blaise Lempen, PEC secretary-general.

In 2021, 79 journalists were killed in 29 countries. Afghanistan emerged as the most dangerous country with 12 casualties, followed by Mexico (10 dead), Pakistan (7), India (6), the Philippines (4), etc revealed PEC’s south Asia representative Nava Thakuria, adding that Pakistan lost media enthusiasts namely Ajay Laalwani, Waseem Alam, Abdul Wahid Raisani,  Kashif Hussain, Shahid Zehri, Nazim Samwal Jokhio and Muhammad Zada to assailants last year.

Source: Nava J Thakuria. He is an Assam based senior journalist.

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