Press freedom prize awarded to Malik Mumtaz posthumously

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AHMEDPUR EAST: The Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) presented its 2014 Sadiq Press Freedom Award, supported by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), to the son of slain journalist Malik Mumtaz Khan at a ceremony held at Punjab College in Ahmedpur East.

“The recognition of Mr Khan is a symbol of the struggle for the right to information and a reminder to the international community about the tragic conditions Pakistan has been suffering since the war on terror began following the 9/11 attacks,” said RMNP president Ehsan Ahmed Sehar in an address to journalists and local dignitaries, says a press release on Thursday.

Malik Mumtaz Khan, 48, was based in Miranshah, North Waziristan, in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) when he was shot dead on 27th February, 2013. Malik Mumtaz was on his way home when he was gunned down by unidentified men waiting in a vehicle with tinted windows, the kind widely used by militants in the region.

Malik Mumtaz was associated with Khyber Television, Geo News and Jang Group of Newspapers and had over 20 years experience in journalism. He was also president of the Miranshah Press Club. Colleagues reported that he had received a number of threats prior to his murder, yet no group has so far claimed responsibility for his death. He leaves behind a widow, two sons and a daughter.

Recognising Malik Mumtaz Khan’s courage and dedication to the profession, an award of Rs60,000 was presented to his son Mohammad Suleman Khan, who revealed that despite promises from the Pakistani authorities his father’s killers had not been brought to justice and his family was still awaiting compensation.

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