New York, March 27, 2009--Pakistani authorities must not allow Thursday's shooting death of veteran Pakistani reporter Raja Assad Hameed in Rawalpindi go uninvestigated and unprosecuted, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Unidentified gunmen killed Hameed, a reporter with the English-language daily The Nation and its Urdu-language television channel, Waqt, while he was parking his car at his house.
Media accounts of the attack varied. Beena Sarwar, a media and human rights activist, looked closely into the murder and described what she found to CPJ: "His family rushed out on hearing the gunshots and found Hameed lying in a pool of blood. The bullets, fired at close range, had pierced his neck and shoulder." Doctors pronounced the journalist dead on arrival at Benazir Bhutto Hospital.
Hameed was well-known and held in high regard. He was fluent in English, Urdu, and Punjabi, and frequently appeared on Al-Jazeera, analyzing political developments in Pakistan.
The day after the attack, Information Minister Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira told the official Associated Press of Pakistan that "sick-minded criminals must have committed the murder of a journalist in Rawalpindi" and he promised "to leave no stone unturned in investigating the heinous crime." Rawalpindi police later suspended their investigation without resolution, news reports said.
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