WAN-IFRA Protest Letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

The Right Honourable Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister of Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan

24 April 2014wan

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our grave concern at the shooting of journalist Hamid Mir.

According to reports, Mr Mir, a senior journalist and anchor of the talk show Capital Talk on the leading news channel Geo News, was seriously injured in a gun attack on 19 April in Karachi. Mr Mir was travelling from the airport to his office when an armed man opened fire on his car. Four men on two motorcycles then followed Mr Mir’s car and continued to fire at him, hitting him six times. He was admitted to hospital where he is now in a stable condition after surgery. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

We are seriously concerned that the attack on Mr Mir may be related to his reporting. Mr Mir had reportedly told his family and colleagues, as well as government and army officials, that members of the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) were planning to “eliminate” him. The government has promised to establish a special committee of inquiry led by three judges to investigate the attempted murder.

We respectfully remind you that only last month you pledged to do more to protect journalists. Five journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2013 and more than 50 have died since the early 1990s. Most murders remain unresolved.

We call on you to ensure that a swift and thorough investigation is carried so that the perpetrators can be quickly brought to justice. We urge you to take all possible steps to protect journalists and to ensure that the government’s promises to establish a committee of inquiry are honoured.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.


Yours sincerely,


Tomas Brunegård
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers


Erik Bjerager
World Editors Forum


WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.


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