Pakistan: Killer of Geo News journalist arrested after a decade

Nearly a decade after the murder of Geo News journalist Wali Khan Babar, Pakistan police  arrested one of his murderers on June 15 . The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its Pakistan affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) welcome the arrest and urge Pakistan government to move proactively to end impunity in regard to all crimes against journalists.

Pakistan police arrested the Kamran alias Zeeshan Shani in a joint raid on Monday, six years after he and five others were convicted for the murder by  Kamran absconded after Geo news journalist Wali Khan Babar was gunned down in the Liaquatabad area of Karachi on January 13, 2011. He was arrested during a  raid carried out after a tip off from a federal intelligence agency. With his arrest, all six convicts involved in killing of the journalist have been brought to justice.

On March 1, 2014, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) convicted Naveed Polka, Muhammad Ali Rizvi, Faisal Mahmood, and Mohammad Shahrukh Khan to life imprisonment, and ordered death sentences in absentia for Kamran alias ‘Zeeshan’ and Faisal Mehmood alias ‘Mota’ for the killing of the journalist.

Within a week of murder of the Geo News journalist, five witnesses of the murder including two policemen and an informer were also shot dead. The prosecutor in the case, Naimat Ali Randhawa, was also killed.

According to Kamran’s confession, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement London faction, which he joined in 2008, was involved in the journalist’s murder. According to the police report, Babar was killed because the MQM feared that the slain journalist would report on anti-MQM stories.

PFUJ said: PFUJ president GM Jamali and Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem have expressed their satisfaction over the arrest of Murderer of Wali Khan Babar. PFUJ demands that the  murderer is brought before  the court of law.”

 IFJ said: “IFJ appreciates the police efforts in the arrest of the fugitive mastermind behind  the tragic murder of journalist Wali Khan Babar. In a climate of increasing impunity on crimes against journalists, this is a positive step. We urge the Pakistan government to continue its efforts to fight  impunity and ensure justice is done for the many journalists murdered in Pakistan.”

Source: IFJ


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