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IFJ and PFUJ demand immediate arrest of Aziz Memon’s killers

KARACHI: Anthony Bellanger, General Secretary International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), G. M. Jamali, President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and Secretary General Rana Mohammad Azeem have demanded immediate arrest of the murderers of Journalist Abdul Aziz Memon.

General Secretary IFJ Anthony Bellanger said: “The post-mortem proves beyond doubt that Aziz was brutally murdered. We reiterate our demand that the authorities take urgent action to arrest the killers and those who ordered his killing. If no action is taken the IFJ stands ready to mobilize global support for the PFUJs call for protests”.

G. M Jamali and Rana Azeem  maintained that after release of the Final Autopsy, Report that says Aziz Memon was strangled to death, there was no hindrance in apprehending the culprits.

PFUJ leaders stated that if the killers were not captured without delay a country-wide movement would be launched.

They instructed all the UJs to instantly instigate a protest campaign on Social Media to force concerned authorities take the murderers of Abdul Aziz Memon into custody.

Moreover, UJs have been asked to take to the street from Monday 9th of March to pressurize the government arrest the killers.

Aziz Memon’s Murder: Sindh Govt forms JIT to probe the matter

6th of March, 2020

KARACHI: In order to probe the murder of journalist Aziz Memon (who worked for Kawish and KTN) Sindh government has announced today the constitution of a nine-member JIT.

His body was found on 16th of February in an irrigation waterway in Naushahro Feroze district with a mic cable wrapped around his neck and in the autopsy report made public today it transpired that he was strangled to death.

Nine-member JIT, to be headed by the additional IGP of Hyderabad Range, will be bound to submit its findings within 15 days. The team will also include SSPs of districts Naushahro Feroze and Shaheed Benazirabad; a representative of the IB (not below the rank of deputy director) and a representative of the Special Branch.

Other members of the JIT: Dean of Basic Medical Sciences, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) Jamshoro, Dr Ikramuddin Ujjan, Chairman of Department of Forensic Sciences and Toxicology, LUMHS, Jamshoro Muhammad Akbar Qazi, Senior Research Officer of International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Shakeel Ahmed and Police Surgeon in Liaquat University Hospital Hyderabad, Dr Bansidhar. JIT , that will attempt to find real motives and culprits involved, will be authorized to  ask aid from any agency.

Since Aziz Memon had accused the PPP and local police of threatening him for reporting about Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s train march in 2019.

Relevant pieces published earlier: 

PFUJ condemns murder of KTN/Kawish journalist

16th of February, 2020

KARACHI: President PFUJ G M Jamali and General Secretary Rana Muhammad Azeem have strongly condemned the murder of Aziz Memon, a journalist who was associated with KTN/Kawish. He was also President of Mehrabpur Press Club.

According to reports Aziz Memon was strangled to death. His body (tied by means of electric wire) was recovered from an irrigation canal in Mehrabpur, Naushahro. The cause of death will be ascertained via autopsy.

PFUJ had demanded the Sindh Government to arrest the killer and his facilitators. The PFUJ has asked the affiliates in different cities of Sindh to stage protests for this brutal killing.

According to his brother, Aziz had left with his cameraman, Owais Qureshi, to cover a story in a nearby village on Sunday morning. Some hours later, his body was found, tied with wire, in an irrigation canal near the town. The cameraman has been detained for questioning.

President PFUJ GM Jamali and Secretary General Rana M Azeem has has strongly condemned the concerned police officers of the District and Province and held them responsible for this murder, as they did not pay due attention to the safety of Aziz Memon despite repeated applications.

In a message before his death Aziz Memon had released a video message informing that he had been receiving serious threats for breaking a story against the ruling party in the province and consequently a senior district police officer had also threatened him of dire consequences.

PFUJ leadership stated that despite his applications to the district and provincial authorities to provide him security, no one paid serious attention: “This behavior of the responsible officers can not be tolerated.

“We have already been in a state of continuous mourn for the deaths of our colleagues in previous months and yet another journalist has been murdered in the line of his duty. There has been no serious investigations despite notices taken by the Chief Minister and Inspector General Police of the Sindh Province. The PFUJ affiliates will stage protests through out the country against the brutal killing,” the PFUJ leaders asserted.

The Secretary General Rana M Azeem further said that President GM Jamali who is attending a conference in Doha with IFJ leadership will also take up the issue at the highest forum for journalists as well.

The PFUJ demanded the government to provide financial support to the family of murdered journalist Aziz Memon.

IFJ Message:

Pakistan: Killed journalist found strangled in irrigation canal

17 Feb, 2020

Aziz Memon, a journalist with Kawish Television Network (KTN) TV and Sindhi-language Daily Kawish was found dead in an irrigation waterway in Mehrabpur in Southern Sindh on February 16. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) condemn the brutal murder. PFUJ has called for national protests to demand urgent action on the killing.

 The body of 56-year-old Memon was recovered from a canal near Gaddo Bridge in the Naushahro Feroze district near where he lived, after locals reported a body floating in the water. Memon, who was also president of the Mehrabpur Press Club, was found with wire tied around his neck. His body was taken to the Sindh-based Taluka Hospital for medical and legal formalities. Initial investigations indicate he died from strangulation.

Police told Dawn newspaper that Memon received many threats during his 30-year career. Last year he received a threat from a Member of National Assembly (NMA) in Pakistan. The PFUJ also said Memon had released a video message and announcing he received serious threats for breaking a story against the ruling party in Sindh province and that a senior district police officer had threatened him of dire consequences. Despite applications to the district and provincial authorities, the PFUJ said his case was not given “serious attention”.

The PFUJ “strongly condemned the concerned police officers of the District and Province and held them responsible for this murder” despite repeated applications for support and a clear pattern of threats on his life.

Aziz Memon’s brother, Hafiz, said his brother’s body was found dead in an irrigation outlet after he went out to cover a story in a nearby village on the morning of February 15 with his cameraman, Owais Qureshi. According to police, the cameraman has been arrested and taken into custody for interrogation.

The IFJ 2019 Killed Report, Roll Call of Deaths and Tragedies found Pakistan was the second deadliest country for journalists in the Asia-Pacific region , with five journalists killed in the year. Memon is the first journalist killed in Pakistan in 2020 and the first for the Asia-Pacific region.

The PFUJ said, “PFUJ strongly condemns the murder of yet another journalist Aziz Memon and demands the Sindh Government to arrest the killer and his facilitators.”

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The IFJ mourns the shocking death of journalist Aziz Memon. Despite every effort to alert authorities to his plight, his calls for help from police were not followed through. The IFJ condemns this senseless murder and urges authorities to conduct an independent investigation into Memon’s death and the failures of Sindh’s police to protect him.”

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.