Pakistani Journalist Arshad Sharif Shot Dead by Police in Kenya

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The police in Kenya has killed Arshad Sharif, a prominent Pakistani investigative journalist critical of the country’s military, nearly two months after he left Pakistan. The 49-year-old journalist had fled the country in August following sedition charges imposed on him.

Alleging harassment by state institutions as well threats to his life he moved to UK in August and later, after spending some time in Dubai, relocated to Kenya. Any information regarding his activities in the East African country is yet to be specified.

Sharif was a critic of Pakistan’s military as well as a vocal supporter of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan. He was accused in August of airing “false, hateful and seditious” content on the channel ARY for which he had worked for the last eight years.

arshad sharif used to work for ary the channel

Kenyan newspaper The Star reported that police fired upon the car, in which Arshad Sharif was travelling, after it failed to stop at a roadblock on the Nairobi-Magadi highway. Police said that it regrets the “unfortunate accident” maintaining the statement that it was a case of mistaken identity and officers had set up the roadblock as they were looking for a stolen car.

“(The) deceased’s motor vehicle came upon the police barrier which they drove through. It is then that they were shot at,” The police statement said.

After the news of Sharif’s death emerged on social media early on Monday, condolences, shock and anger poured in from all quarters. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan demanded an immediate inquiry into Sharif’s death.

“A long, grim record of violent tactics to silence journalists explains why the reported murder of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya has sent shock waves through the journalist community. The government must pursue an immediate, transparent inquiry into the circumstances of his death,” the organisation said in a statement.

In response to that, chairperson Ann Makori of Kenya’s police watchdog – the Independent Police Oversight Authority (Ipoa) assured that the team will be investigating the “alleged police killing of a Pakistani national.”

The former Prime Minister Khan called for a “proper judicial investigation” for what he described as a “murder”.

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Hamna M.
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