The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Thursday demanded an immediate investigation into the murder of journalist Abdul Hameed Hayatan in the Balochistan province, including a full inquiry into allegations of involvement of Pakistani security agencies.
The body of Mr Hayatan, 25, was found in the village of Hiroonk on 18 November. Known also as Lala Hammed Baloch, Mr Hayatan was found dead in a canal alongside his friend, Hamid Ismail, after they disappeared from their home town of Gwadar, on 25 October, according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
Mr Hayatan had been shot in the head and chest and appeared to have been tortured. A note found with the bodies of Mr Hayatan and Mr Ismail said “Eid present for the Baloch people”, referring to the recent Muslim festival Eid al-Adha. Local media reported that Mr Hayatan, a reporter with Daily Intekhab and a founder of the Gwadar Press Club, was allegedly abducted with his friend by state security agents.
Mr Hayatan was also reported to be active in the Balochistan nationalist movement. The murder of Mr Hayatan brings to 11 the total number of reported deaths of media workers in Pakistan this year. Four of these deaths have been in Balochistan.
The Balochistan Union of Journalists, an affiliate of the PFUJ, has long agitated for full inquiries into the murders of media personnel in Balochistan, and appropriate protection to be provided by authorities.
However, authorities have made no arrests for murders of media personnel in the province, including the case of Chisti Mujahid, who was shot dead in Quetta in February 2008. “Pakistan’s state and federal authorities must immediately conduct a swift and credible investigation into the murder of Abdul Hameed Hayatan. The allegations of state security involvement must not stand in the way of a full inquiry and the pursuit of justice to bring the perpetrators to account,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.