Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn of the murder of Murtaza Razvi, an assistant editor with the English-language daily Dawn, whose body was found yesterday in an apartment in Karachi, the capital of the southern province of Sindh. His hands were tied and his body bore the marks of torture and strangulation.
“As there are so far no clues as to the motive, the Karachi police must not rule out the possibility that Razvi’s murder was linked to his work as a journalist,” Reporters Without Borders said, offering its condolences to his family and friends.
“Attacks on journalists are common in Karachi. Last year they included Syed Shahryar Asim’s attempted murder and Wali Khan Babar’s murder. And they usually go unpunished. The authorities must to everything possible to end the cycle of impunity.”
Razvi’s body was discovered by a friend, the sculptor Shahid Rassam, in Rassam’s studio in an apartment in a residential neighbourhood of Karachi. The cord with which he was apparently strangled was found by the police in the apartment.
Rassam said Razvi has asked him for the key to his studio. Thereafter he had not been reachable by telephone, either in his office or on his mobile. Razvi’s wife reported his disappearance on the evening of 18 April.
The police have opened an investigation. None of the armed groups active in the region have claimed responsibility for his death and his family said he had “no enemies.” In an article paying tribute to Razvi, one of his colleagues, Omar R. Qureshi, said he was “fearless” and wrote “sharp, incisive editorials.”
Aged 47, Razvi had been a journalist for more than 20 years and had worked as an editor for the Dawn media group in Lahore before transferring to Karachi, where he had written articles “that required exemplary courage,” a colleague, Eshwar Sundaresan, wrote in the newspaper’s blog.
Razvi also wrote a political biography of former President Pervez Musharraf (“Musharraf: the years in power”) that was published in 2009.
He is the second journalist to be killed in Pakistan this year, following Mukarram Khan Atif on 17 January. Pakistan has been the world’s deadliest country for media personnel for the past two years, with 10 journalists killed in connection with their work in 2011.