Arshad Sharif: Prominent Pakistani Journalist Killed in Kenya

CNN Business

Arshad Sharif, a prominent Pakistani journalist who fled the country after being charged with sedition, died in Kenya after being shot dead by police in response to reports of a stolen vehicle, authorities said.

“The officers following the motor vehicle… alerted the Magadi Police who erected a roadblock,” Bruno Isohi Shioso, spokesman for the Kenya National Police, said in a statement.

Sharif’s car allegedly drove through the road barrier and “that’s when they were shot,” Shioso said. Sharif was “fatally injured by a police officer”, he said, adding that the incident was under investigation.

According to a police report seen by Kenyan national media The Nation, the roadblock was set up after reports of an abduction involving a car with a license plate number similar to Sharif’s.

The Independent Police Oversight Authority of Kenya (IPOA), a civilian watchdog organization, said it had already started investigating the incident.

“I lost a friend, a husband and my favorite journalist @arsched today, police say he was shot dead in Kenya,” Sharif’s wife Javeria Siddique said. tweeted monday.

Sharif fled Pakistan in August amid sedition charges against him for allegedly criticizing state institutions and “encouraging mutiny” within the military.

He had interviewed opposition politician Shahbaz Gill, a close ally of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Following the interview, Gill was also charged with sedition by Pakistani police for making what they claim were “anti-state comments”.

Sharif’s channel, ARY, initially claimed she was “hounded by the current regime”, but later said she had cut ties with Sharif after being interrupted for about a month on August 8 by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

Sharif had to “flee Pakistan in August to save his life,” a close aide told CNN. He had first traveled to Dubai but was forced to flee the United Arab Emirates due to “harassment by Pakistani officials”, the associate added.

Sharif had only been “in Kenya for a few weeks as it is one of the few places where Pakistani passport holders do not need visas to enter,” the associate said.

Pakistani embassy officials in Nairobi are awaiting a police report, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

Although not technically under military rule today, Pakistan has been ruled by the military for much of its 75-year history.

The Foreign Press Association of Africa (FPA Africa) said it was “deeply disturbed” by Sharif’s killing, particularly the circumstances in which he died.

“Sharif’s death has deprived the global media fraternity of a dedicated and forthright journalist,” FPA Africa said in a statement.

The association added that it called on the Kenyan authorities to investigate the incident and thereby assure “foreign journalists based in the country and covering Africa, including those visiting on assignment and other professional undertakings that ‘they are safe’.

Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission tweeted on Monday that “a long and grim record of violent tactics to silence journalists explains why the alleged murder of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya has sent shock waves through the media community. journalists”.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tweeted that he was “deeply saddened by the shocking news” of Sharif’s death. Shehbaz also said he had a phone conversation with Kenyan President William Ruto and “I asked him to ensure a fair and transparent investigation into this shocking incident. He promised full assistance, including expediting the body return process” in Pakistan.

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