PAKISTAN: “Tell us who killed our father,” say reporter Hayatullah Khan’s orphaned children 

“The government must tell us who killed our father; it must arrest the murderers,” says Kamran Hayat, the 8-year-old son of journalist Hayatullah Khan, whose handcuffed body was found four years ago, on 16 June 2006, near Mir Ali, in the Tribal Area of North Waziristan. Khan, who had been shot in the head, was very thin, suggesting he suffered considerable deprivations during the six months in captivity that preceded his death. In a recently recorded video, his children and brother expressed their anger and disappointment at the government’s lack of desire to shed light on the murder of Khan, who was the North Waziristan correspondent of the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) and the Pakistani dailies Nation and Ausaf. Exclusive video:

On the fourth anniversary of Khan’s death, Reporters Without Borders calls on Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to order the release of the findings of the various enquiries that were conducted into his abduction and murder.

When questioned recently by a Reporters Without Borders representative, federal information minister Qamaruzaman Kaira refused to promise to release the report of the independent investigation carried out by Peshawar judge Mohammad Raza Khan. The judge submitted his report on 18 August 2006 but the authorities blocked its publication:,22555.html

“We continue to suspect that Khan was killed for investigating the death of Hamza Rabia, a leading Arab member of Al-Qaeda,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The Pakistani army’s claims that Rabia was killed in an accidental munitions explosion were contradicted by Khan, who had photos taken at the scene indicating that he was killed by a US missile.” The press freedom organisation added: “Now that strikes by US drones in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas have become almost routine, it is unacceptable that the government in Islamabad should continue to maintain its suspicious silence on Hayatullah killing.”

Reporters Without Borders joins the Tribal Union of Journalists in condemning this “criminal negligence.” TUJ president Ibrahim Shinwari said: “We call for the immediate publication of the investigation’s findings.” Khan’s daughter, Saira Hayat, said: “The government neither arrested the murderers nor released the report of the investigation into his death. We continue to demand justice. I miss my father enormously.” After their mother’s murder in November 2007 (,24417.html), the orphaned children were moved to Peshawar.

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Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : AHRC-FST-044-2010
Countries : Pakistan,
Issues : Extrajudicial killings, Freedom of expression,