Journalists’ federations seek immediate probe into attack on justice Afghan journalist in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJU), in a statement called for an immediate investigation into the shooting of journalist Ahmad Hanayesh, urging that those responsible be brought to swift justice.

The IFJ stated, “Journalists must be able to work without fear of retribution for their work, and those responsible for this attack must not be allowed to evade justice. We urge Pakistani authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the shooting of Ahmed Hanayesh and to take immediate measures to ensure the safety of journalists.”

The AIJU added, “Wishing Mr. Hanayesh a quick recovery and good health, the AIJU leadership requests that the Pakistani authorities and journalistic bodies seriously address this incident and identify its culprits.”

Hanayesh, founder of Radio Kahkashan and Radio Donya and a journalist for the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Azadi, was attacked by two motorcycle-riding gunmen while returning home in Islamabad’s southeastern G6 residential area around 11 p.m. on April 3. He sustained two gunshot wounds to his leg, with another bullet grazing his head, and was promptly taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. According to the AIJU, Hanayesh is now stable. The reason for the attack remains unclear.

Since January 2023, Hanayesh has resided in Islamabad, preparing for a trip to Germany while staying in a hotel. Prior to leaving Afghanistan, he served on the Board of Directors at the Afghanistan Journalist Centre and was involved with Afghan media organizations in exile.

The shooting comes after the March 14 killing of senior Pakistani journalist Sagheer Ahmed Laar, who was shot by three men on a motorcycle. Despite a First Information Report filed by his brother, Jaleel Ahmed, no suspects have been detained in connection with Laar’s death.