The International Press Institute (IPI) today joined the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in calling for the formal release of a judicial commission’s report on the 2014 shooting of Geo Television journalist Hamid Mir after details of the report were leaked to the public.
The PPF yesterday called on Pakistan Supreme Court Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali to formally release all documents related to the report prepared by the Commission of Inquiry Regarding Incident of Firing on Hamid Mir, as well as all related annexes and appendices.
In a statement, the PPF noted that its secretary general, Owais Aslam Ali, who also serves as a member of IPI’s Executive Board, said in a letter to Jamali that the leak of the report in lieu of an official release “makes it nearly impossible to have serious, informed national debate on the report dealing with extremely important issue of press freedom and safety of media professionals”. Ali also called on Jamali to direct authorities to confirm the authenticity of the leaked report.
Mir was shot six times by unknown men on motorcycles as he was leaving the Karachi airport on April 19, 2014. Although international and national outrage over the attempt on his life led to the creation of the Commission nearly two years ago, no official word on the progress of the Commission has been released.
The PPF yesterday similarly called on Jamali to correct erroneous details regarding the February 2009 abduction and murder of journalist Musa Khankhel. A reporter for Geo and Jang Group, Khankhel was kidnapped while on assignment and later found shot to death with his hands and feet tied.
Domestic and international media freedom groups condemned the journalist’s murder, but the leaked report identified Khankhel as a “bad Taliban chief”, a description the PPF labelled “a great injustice to his memory”.