Shafiullah Kahn, a trainee journalist with The News in Peshawar died on 17 June as a consequence of extensive burns caused by a series of blasts, on which the journalist was reporting.
On 11 June, two smaller blasts, one at a restaurant near a market in Peshawar and the other in a building adjacent to it, drew people to the site, including journalists. Another, more powerful suicide blast then rocked the market, killing at least 40 people, and wounding over 100, according to local news reports.
Journalist Asfandyar Abid Naveed, a reporter with Akhbar-e-Khyber, was killed in the blasts. Trainee journalist Shafiullah Kahn received multiple wounds and extensive burns and was treated at the local hospital. He remained unconscious until he passed away on Friday.
Shafiullah Kahn is the fourth journalist killed in Pakistan because of his job since the beginning of 2011. In 2010, IPI counted 16 journalists killed in Pakistan, either deliberately targeted because of their reports or caught in the crossfire while covering dangerous assignments.
In a separate incident on 19 June, Waqar Kiani, a Pakistan-based journalist with the British daily The Guardian, was assaulted by men in police uniforms five days after he published an account of abduction and torture by suspected Pakistani intelligence agents, the newspaper reported.
On Saturday night, uniformed men reportedly stopped Waqar Kiani as he drove through Islamabad and ordered him to step out of his car. When he did, four men beat him with fists, wooden batons and a rubber whip and told him “You want to be a hero? We’ll make you a hero,” Kiani told The Guardian after the attack.
“The frequency and brutality of attacks against journalists in Pakistan in recent months has been appalling, and it is disturbing that the authorities appear to be doing very little to stop such attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills. “Ensuring the safety of journalists who report on issue of public interest must be a top priority for the Pakistani government.”