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September 21, 10

NEWS / UNESCO head condemns murders of Pakistani newspaper reporters

21 September 2010 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with upholding press freedom today condemned the separate killings of two Pakistani newspaper reporters, calling on the country to prosecute those behind the murders.

Mujeebur Rehman Saddiqui, 39, a senior correspondent for the Daily Pakistan, was shot dead on 16 September by unidentified gunmen as he left a mosque after evening prayers in the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

Also in KPK, Misri Khan Orakzai, 48, a correspondent for several newspapers, such as Islamabad’s Jinnah and Peshawar’s Mashriq, was killed on 14 September by three unidentified gunmen outside the press club in the district of Hangdu. He died at the scene after being shot four times.

According to the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Taliban have claimed responsibility for killing Mr. Orakzai, who also served as president of the Hangdu Union of Journalists.

“In carrying out their professional duties, [the slain reporters] helped to uphold the basic right to freedom of expression,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“I call on the authorities in Pakistan to do their utmost to arrest the culprits of these crimes and bring them to justice.”




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