SAFMA calls for probe into Khpalwak's death
KABUL (PAN): The South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) on Sunday condemned the killing of Pajhwok Afghan News reporter Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak during last week's attacks on government buildings in central Uruzgan province.
At least 21 people, including women and children, were killed and 38 others wounded in the fighting in Tirinkot on July 28, when multiple bombers entered the Governor's House, Radio and Television Department and the police headquarters.
Zia Bumya, the head of SAFMA's Afghanistan chapter, called for a thoroughgoing investigation into Khpalwak's killing. If journalists remain committed to their task of reporting facts in Afghanistan, they are either killed or detained, he said.
"And if media people overlook their core responsibility, they ignore their duty to society," he added. Although no one has so far claimed responsibility for the death, Bumya called the perpetrators the "enemy of mankind".
SAFMA Secretary-General Dr. Zahir Ayubi said the reporter was allegedly shot dead by foreign troops, who entered the Radio and Television Department in pursuit of the attackers. The claim should be probed, he demanded, asking all parties to the conflict to ensure journalists' protection.
Meanwhile, Afghan lawmakers also denounced Khpalwak's murder and asked security officials to bring his killers to justice as soon as possible. The Meshrano Jirga, during its session, sought an investigation into the death.
Similarly, Takhar Journalists' Association President Syed Yasin Dehzad also demanded the arrest of Khpalwak's killers. He called for the government to step up security for media representatives.
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