Amnesty blasts Pak spy agencies for failing to solve journalist's murder one year on
Islamabad, May 30 (ANI): Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) has heavily criticized Pakistan's intelligence agencies, for failing to capture the killers of journalist Saleem Shahzad, who was abducted and assassinated near Islamabad over a year ago.
"Pakistan must take urgent steps to bring (Shahzad's) killers to justice and properly investigate claims of intimidation against journalists, including by intelligence services," The Dawn quoted from an AI statement.
"Shahzad's killing last year highlighted the perils faced by journalists in Pakistan," said Polly Truscott, South Asia director at Amnesty International.
"Pakistan remains one of the most dangerous countries for media workers with at least three journalists killed in the past five months. Last year, at least six lost their lives," said Truscott.
"There was a sophisticated, well-organised attempt by Shahzad's killers to cover their tracks - all the more reason why Pakistan's intelligence services, and especially the ISI, must be thoroughly investigated," Truscott insisted.
Shahzad's body, bearing marks of torture, was found near Mandi Bahauddin, 130 kilometres southeast of Islamabad, two days after his disappearance on May 29, 2011.
Two days prior to his abduction, Shahzad had published an article, alleging that Navy personnel sympathetic to Al-Qaeda had facilitated an attack at a Pakistan Naval base.
In October 2010, Shahzad had told colleagues that he felt he had been threatened by the ISI for his reporting on Al-Qaeda infiltration into Pakistan's armed forces.
A government-appointed commission had investigated Shahzad's murder, but was unable to identify his killers.
Following the government inquiry report on Shahzad's murder, the Human Rights Watch blamed the commission of being "fearful of confronting the ISI over Shahzad's death."
"The commission's failure to get to the bottom of the Shahzad killing illustrates the ability of the ISI to remain beyond the reach of Pakistan's criminal justice system," HRW's Asia director Brad Adams had said. (ANI)
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