The body of Pakistani journalist, Aziz Memon, was found dumped in an irrigation canal soon after he was dropped off for work on Sunday, according to police reports.
The incident occurred in Mehrabpur city in the Naushahro Firoz district in the Sindh province.
According to a report by Dawn newspaper, Memon’s body was recovered with a wire tied around the neck, showing signs of strangulation.
The 56 year old reporter worked for TV channel KTN and Sindhi daily Kawish.
On the day of his death, he had asked a cameraman he worked with to drop him at a place where he was to attend a ceremony. His body was found floating in the canal hours after.
A few months ago, a video of Memon saying that he was receiving threats for his coverage of a news story emerged.
In the clip, Memon is heard saying that he had received threats last year after reporting that Pakistan People’s Party members had bribed locals to attend an opposition rally.
On Monday, reports of angered journalists from various newspapers and TV stations holding protests in Hyderabad, emerged. The media personnel condemned the killing and demanded action from authorities.
Taking to the Twitter, Fawad Chaudhry currently Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the tragedy.
According to a report by ARY News, the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah summoned a detailed report into the killing from the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Shaheed Benazirabad.
Social media outrage
Soon after the news of Memon’s alleged murder broke, ‘Sindh’ and ‘Aziz Memon’ became one of the top trends on twitter in Pakistan. Pictures of Memon's body circulated on soical media platforms.
Netizens and reporters took to their accounts to express their dismay and demanded prompt justice for Memon’s killing.
Journalist @AmberRShamsi posted: “In a video message Aziz Memon had said he had been harassed by local PPP leaders and the SSP Naushero Feroze. Unless there is a swift and impartial investigation, this will be a black mark on the democratic credentials of the @MediaCellPPP”
Another reporter, @MazharAbbasGEO, tweeted: “The brutal murder of sr. Journalist, Aziz Memon of KTN and daily Kawish should not go unnoticed. Beside police the PFUJ [Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists], KUJ [Karachi Union of Journalists] groups should form joint investigation team and probe the matter on its own as well. KTN management should announce compensation for deceased family.”
There were also those like user @KhurramDehwar who tried to get the attention of international entities. He tweeted at Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a non-governmental organisation based in Paris that aims to protect journalist.
He wrote: “Where is @RSF_en now? This is Aziz Memon KTN reporter from Mehrabpur Pakistan who reported how @BBhuttoZardari rally had rented protestors, it went viral. Aziz warned of death threats from Bhutto’s […]. Now he’s dead! Will u raise voice your for justice? #JusticeForAzizMemon.”
Journalists in Pakistan
Pakistan is considered a problematic country when it comes to journalists. Instances of killing and imprisoning reporters have surfaced throughout the year. According to a report by Pakistani newspaper The Nation, at least 26 journalists were killed in Pakistan between 2014 and 2018. According to UNESCO five journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2019.