Pakistan journalist apparently killed for reporting on tribal practices

Twenty-first century reporting and 12th century rituals often clash. And in Pakistan this clash has led to the death of another journalist.

Journalist found dead after revealing tribal marriage customs

Reporters Without Borders reports the death of Ghulam Rasool Birhamani, who worked for Sindhi-language newspaper Sindhu in the Dadu district.

Birhamani had just completed an article about the marriage of a 20-year-old woman to a 10-year-old boy. Arranged marriages such as this, are a tradition among the tribes in Sindh province to settle disputes.

The journalists received threats from tribal members following the publishing of his article. Within days Birhamani was reported missing. He was then found with torture marks on his body and fatal head injuries.

He is the second journalist killed in Sindh province this year and the fourth in the country.

Shamsul Isam Naz, secretary general of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, told the International Press Institute there was no doubt Birhamani was killed because of his reporting.

“He was killed because the influential persons of the area did not like his reporting on women’s rights and the empowerment of women,” he said.

“He was threatened quite a few times.”

According to the Pakistan Press Foundation, Birhamani had received threats some days before to the kidnapping after he reported on the underage marriage of a girl from the Lashari tribe.

So, besides the dangers of being killed during battles with the Taliban or in terrorists attacks, Pakistan’s journalists also have to be watchful of groups not interested in entering the 21st Century.

I wonder, however, why we are not seeing reporting in the Western media about not only the threats to Pakistan’s journalists but also about these tribal issues. Surely this type of tribal arrogance and exercise of intimidation is just as important to understanding the war against terrorism as looking up the background of a kid who lived in Connecticut who locked himself out of his own car.



Filed under Corruption, International News Coverage, Killings

2 responses to “Pakistan journalist apparently killed for reporting on tribal practices

  1. Pingback: Journalism and the World » Blog Archive » Pakistan journalist apparently killed for reporting on tribal practices

  2. Senior tribal journalist killed in car bomb blast in peshawar.
    A renowned senior tribal journalist Nasrullah Afridi died in a remote controlled bomb blast. The bomb planted in his car which was blown up near the Khyber super market Bara road sadder bazar Peshawar at 9:45 p.m, May 10, 2011. He was a senior and active member of Tribal Union of Journalists (TUJ) –FATA. He was a correspondent reporter for Urdu daily Mashriq and Pakistan television (PTV) from Khyber agency. The TUJ executive body announced three days mourn while all the tribal journalists will attend his funeral prayer in large number TOMORROW. The TUJ demanded from the government and from the governor Khyber pukhtun khwa to provide protection for all the tribal journalists who are reporting from the FATA region on their life risk. TUJ demanded for the financial compensation for the grieved family of the deceased journalist.
    The place where journalist killed in a remote controlled bomb blast is situated in the army cantonment of Peshawar city where tight security can see everywhere. The martyred journalist was one of the brave people who were reporting from the war and conflict effected area of FATA named Khyber agency where two religious militant groups fighting each other and hundred thousand people are killed in the clashes. He was threatened several times from these militants groups because he was a journalist who reported the news with a state forward way and did not biased or one sided in his reporting. One of the militant groups attacked his house and compelled him to leave his native village and took refuge in Peshawar city. But his family and children are threatened continuously and he reported to the governor and to the provincial government time and again but unfortunately, the government did not give him any life protection.
    Written by: saif ur rehman- coordinator – tribal union of journalists (TUJ)-FATA- Pakistan

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