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December 24, 2020 2:38 pm
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Media Freedom NGOs and Jewish Groups Express Outrage at Release of Daniel Pearl’s Killers

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (c) is surrounded by armed police as he leaves a court in Karachi, Pakistan, on March 29, 2002. Photo: Reuters / Zahid Hussein.

Media organizations and Jewish groups were among those reacting furiously on Thursday to the decision of a Pakistani court to immediately release four men accused of orchestrating the 2002 kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pearl, a 38-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter, was investigating Islamist militants in Karachi after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States when he was seized by terrorists connected to Al Qaeda.

His gruesome death by beheading was captured on video, and included Pearl saying the words, “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish,” moments before he was killed.

The France-based organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounced the Pakistani court’s decision on Twitter for symbolizing “the impunity of crimes against journalists.”

Separately, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) — another leading media freedom NGO — tweeted that the release of British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who masterminded Pearl’s abduction and killing, would increase “the threats facing journalists in Pakistan.”

Jewish groups also rebuked the Pakistani court.

“We strongly condemn the order made by the Sindh High Court in Pakistan today to release the four men accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002,” B’nai B’rith International said in a statement. “This decision is not only a miscarriage of justice, it is also an insult to the memory of Daniel Pearl and to his family.”

Jonathan Greenblatt — CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — expressed similar outrage.

 

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