Global press freedom advocate, RSF urges UN probe into Arshad Sharif’s murder

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UNITED NATIONS: The Paris-based NGO devoted to press freedom, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Tuesday called for a United Nations investigation into the brutal murder in Kenya of the well-known Pakistani journalist, Arshad Sharif.

“The information currently emerging from the Kenyan wing of the investigation is contradictory, and all independent attempts to get information are met with a wall of silence,” said Sadibou Marong, the director of RSF’s sub-Saharan Africa bureau, according to the organization’s press release distributed worldwide.

“If the Kenyan authorities want to shed light on this murder, they must ensure that the investigation is not cloaked in imprecision, and that it is independent and impartial.”

“Why was Arshad Sharif in Kenya and, above all, why did he have to flee his country – these are the questions behind his murder,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.

“The potential conflicts of interest are such on both the Kenyan and Pakistani sides that we are calling on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Morris Tidball-Binz, to launch an investigation with an independent international team to shed all possible light on this shocking case.”

A journalist at the regular United Nations noon briefing in New York asked for reaction to RSF’s call, but UN Associate Stephanie Tremblay offered no comments, saying a statement was made on Oct 25, the day Arshad Sharif was shot and killed in Nairobi. The UN had urged Kenya to conduct a thorough investigation into his death, and share the findings with the public.

“I saw this tragic report of his death. I think the circumstances need to be investigated thoroughly, and the Kenyan authorities said they would,” Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary General had said.

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