Tribal Journalist, Karachi YouTuber Shot Dead As Police Attack TV Crew In Dir District

FN Threat Data Analysis – June 2024

Killing spree of journalists and other media practitioners continued in Pakistan with tribal journalist Khalil Jibran and 24-year-old YouTuber Saad Ahmed were shot dead while three other cases of different threat categories, including assault and legal cases, were monitored and documented during May 2024.

These threat cases against journalists are monitored through Pakistan Press Club Safety Hubs Network programme, award-winning civil liberty organisation Freedom Network is managing since 2016.

Freedom Network runs five safety hubs across Pakistan to monitor and document violations against media practitioners and assist journalists at risks in partnership with five biggest press clubs of the country, including Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Islamabad and Peshawar.

Murders (successful assassination attempt):

Khyber News reporter Khalil Jibran was shot dead by two unknown motorcyclists on 18 June 2024 in Landikotal. The journalist was on his way home along with his friends when unknown gunmen intercepted his car. It appears the gunmen wanted to abduct him and upon the journalist’s resistance he was shot 18 times as per the police report. The gunmen fled the scene of murder.

Khalil was under threats for his work which earned him wrath from the militants and local administration. He was covering militancy since Pakistan joined the US-led war on terror. Khalil is the second tribal journalist killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and overall, fourth in Pakistan in 2024.

No group claimed responsibility for his murder. Police had registered a case under section 302 and 7ATA (anti-terrorism act) and are investigating the case. No arrest has yet been made.

On 30 June, unknown gunmen attacked snooker club, the late journalist was managing in Landikotal town. The gunmen badly damaged the sporting facility and this attack renewed fears that his family may be targeted. The late journalist’s widow appealed for relocation to keep her children safe from any harm which she feared imminent.

YouTuber Saad Ahmed, 24, was shot dead in the Sakhi Hasan area at the Serena mobile market in Karachi while busy making content related to excitement of cricket crazy people interviewing local shopkeepers and businessmen.

He was recording interviews of cricket-crazy residents of Karachi to measure pre-match excitement of game lovers.

After interviewing some shopkeepers, Saad approached a private security guard Gul Hassan to discuss his video shoot. However, the guard opened fire, critically injuring Saad. He received bullet in shoulder and collapsed. The victim was moved to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital by his friends where he was proclaimed dead. Police arrested Gul Hassan and confiscated his weapon.

The guard told police he did not know why killed the YouTuber, who just asked the guard about Pakistan-India clash in T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies.

A First information report (FIR) was registered against the private security guard under sections 302 (premeditated murder), 322 (manslaughter) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Threat of legal action (by private party or state):

Dr Rao Waqas registered a case against Abdul Hameed Abbasi, reporter of Daily Ausaf and ABN News who is also president of Murree Press Club, on 8 June 2024 claiming the journalist attempted to “manipulate a medico-legal report” and threatened media exposure. The reporter said he only reported a police raid conducted without a search warrant. His investigative efforts led to the suspension of the Police Station In-charge and several officers involved in the controversial raid and the FIR is allegedly instigated by the suspended Police Station In-charge through his acquaintance Dr. Rao Waqas Ahmad.

Assault resulting in injury:

News Once channel anchor Mian Imran Arshad in Lahore bureau was attacked by local police in district Dir Lower in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 30 June 2024. The journalists along with his crew visited a local police station in district Dir Lower and allegedly found that police were using “illegal electricity.” When the crew tried to record the power theft at the police station, police officials attacked the team and started beating all the crew members. Mian Imran and his crew members received injuries. They were taken to local hospital for initial treatment. No FIR was registered against anyone and the New News channel team retuned back to Lahore.

Threats, Attacks, and Harassment against Various Types of Media:

Three TV journalists and one YouTuber received threats during June 2024.

Threat Actors Attacking and Harassing Journalists and Media:

Two state, one unknown and one other threat actors were believed involved in these threats these journalists faced.

Caption: File photo of late Saad Rehman

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