Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) commemorates the life of journalist Aziz Memon who was found dead on February 16, 2020. Memon’s murder was ruled a “well-planned murder” and represented the danger journalists face for their work. Despite the passage of three years and multiple arrests, Memon’s case is still ongoing in court.
On February 16, 2020, the body of Memon, a reporter for KTN news channel and Sindh newspaper Kawish was found in a water channel in Mehrabpur in the Naushahro Feroze district of Sindh.
According to Dawn, Memon had asked a cameraman he worked with to drop him off at a location where he was to attend a ceremony. His body was later spotted in the canal by villagers. As per the report, Memon had “often received threats of dire consequences during his 30-year-long career”. One such threat was from a Member of the National Assembly, after which he left his hometown and moved to Islamabad for a while, the report said.
Additionally, a year before his death, the journalist released a video in which he said officials from the Pakistan People’s Party, along with local police, had threatened him for his reporting. Memon’s report had included the allegation that people were paid to attend the PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s train march.
A post-mortem report after his body was recovered found that Memon’s death occurred due to asphyxiation.
On March 6, 2020, the provincial government formed a joint investigation team to investigate the murder. Months later, in April 2020, Memon’s DNA report was released, which according to Dawn, had “found traces of some other human DNA”. Sharing its conclusion on May 30, 2020, the JIT found that Memon’s death was a “well-planned murder”.
Three suspects — Nazeer Sehto, Ameer Sehto and Farhan Sehto — were arrested. At this time, the prime suspect, Mushtaq Sehto and four other individuals alleged to be accomplices were still at large. In June, two more suspects — Zafar Sehto and Zulfiqar Sehto — were booked for Memon’s murder and sent to jail on judicial remand.
Nearly two years later, on May 20, 2022, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon announced that Mushtaq Sehto was arrested in the desert area in Shaheed Benazirabad district.
Speaking to PPF, Memon’s son Faiq Aziz shared that his father’s case is still ongoing. In the latest hearing, on February 15, Mushtaq Sehto had requested bail, but Aziz said this request was turned down. He added that one of the suspects, Shah Sehto, had still not been arrested.
Arrests and the formation of committees are not enough. The case of Memon’s murder must be brought to its logical end the culture of impunity surrounding the murders of journalists in Pakistan.