Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2017, 11:43 GMT

RSF hails arrest of Daniel Pearl murder suspect in Karachi

Publisher Reporters Without Borders
Publication Date 25 April 2016
Cite as Reporters Without Borders, RSF hails arrest of Daniel Pearl murder suspect in Karachi, 25 April 2016, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5774ee474.html [accessed 22 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) hails Pakistan's efforts to combat impunity for crimes against journalists after yesterday's arrest in Karachi of a man suspected of participating in US journalist Daniel Pearl's abduction and murder in 2002.

The suspect arrested by the Karachi Crimes Investigation Department is Abdur Rehman, also known as Sindhi, a member of Al-Qaeda and Harkat-e-Jihad-e-Islami.

He allegedly assisted Ahmed Omar Saeed Shaikh, the convicted mastermind of Pearl's abduction and murder, and he is alleged to have been in contact with Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Bin Laden as Al-Qaeda's chief in 2011.

"We hail what seems to be a major advance in the fight against impunity for crimes against journalists in Pakistan and we hope that this arrest will be a significant new step towards justice," said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of RSF's Asia-Pacific desk.

"Daniel Pearl's execution-style murder in 2002 is an example of the insanity of terrorist groups that turn foreign journalists into scapegoats for the policies of their governments. This insanity is today probably the gravest threat to freedom of information worldwide."

The police said Rehman could be brought before a court in the next two days. He is also wanted by the FBI. The Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau chief, Pearl had gone to Pakistan to investigate Islamist networks when he was abducted and murdered in February 2002.

Journalists in Pakistan continue to be targeted by radical groups, Islamist organizations and the feared intelligence services, all of which are on RSF's list of "Predators of Press Freedom."

Thanks to a decline in murders of journalists in 2015, Pakistan has improved its position in RSF's 2016 World Press Freedom Index and is now ranked 147th out of 180 countries.

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