Television Journalist Shot Dead in Pakistan, PEC Demands Punishment to Perpetrators

GENEVA: Expressing grief over the demise of Karachi-based Pakistani television journalist Athar Mateen, the global media safety and rights body Press Emblem Campaign ( insists on a genuine probe into the incident that led to his killing during the morning hours on 18 February 2022. PEC also demands compensation to the bereaved family.

Associated with the private news channel Samaa Television, Mateen (45) was targeted by two armed men at Nazimabad area of the port city in west Pakistan. He tried to prevent them from robbing a pedestrian on the street. The men on a bike opened fire on Mateen and fled from the location. Wounded Mateen was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to injuries.

Mateen, who worked as a senior news producer, was also partially associated with Aaj News and ARY News. Besides the Pak media fraternity, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and State chief minister Murad Ali Shah also condemned the incident and directed the police to nab the culprits at the earliest to punish under the law.

“It’s shocking that Pakistan has lost three scribes this year and emerged as a dangerous country for working journalists. Earlier, the Lahore-based journalist Hasnain Shah (45) was killed on 24 January by two bike-riders outside the local press club. It was followed by another assassination of scribes when Ghulam Murtaza Shar (32) faced bullets from two armed men riding a two-wheeler in Sindh province on 30 January,” said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC.

Till date, 20 journalists have been killed worldwide in 2022, where Mexico tops the list with six casualties, followed by Pakistan (3), Haiti, India (2 dead each), Myanmar, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Honduras, Yemen, Tchad and Brazil (one each). PEC’s south Asia representative Nava Thakuria informed that 79 journalists were killed last year, where Pakistan lost Ajay Laalwani, Waseem Alam, Abdul Wahid Raisani, Kashif Hussain, Shahid Zehri, Nazim Samwal Jokhio and Muhammad Zada to assailants.