Journalists worried about their safety
KABUL (PAN): Journalists and civil society activists, voicing deep concern about the safety of media people in Afghanistan, on Monday strongly condemned the murder of a radio reporter in southeastern Paktika province.
Samad Khan Bahadarzai, the Milma Ghag Radio head, was shot dead by unknown gunmen after forcing him out of his home in the Argon district on February 21 night.
At a joint press conference in Kabul, officials of Nai, an organistaion that supports free media in Afghanistan, members of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) and representatives of the Afghan Civil Society Forum (ACSF) condemned the murder.
Calling for the killers to be brought to justice, Sadiqullah Tawhidi, the Nai head, said their concerns about the safety of journalists in Afghanistan had mounted with the gruesome murder of Bahadarzai.
He said their investigation revealed the slain journalist had no enmity or affiliation with any group, calling the assassination as an inhuman and a un-Islamic act.
Tawhidi urged security officials and justice authorities to peruse the case and arrest the killers and award them a harsh punishment.
Aziz Rafiei, the ACSF chief, said the murder of Bahadarzai was a barbaric act, creating great unrest and fears among the journalist community.
He claimed the incident had not been followed as yet, asking the government to order a thoroughgoing probe into the murder.
Fahim Dashti, another member of the journalist association, urged the government to name an intersection after the name of Bahadarzai in Kabul or Paktika provinces.
Nai officials said three journalists have been killed and 80 others subjected to violence such as injuring, beating, kidnapping and threat, in Afghanistan in 2011.
The speakers also denounced the Quran burning incident, saying the move had not only caused tension at home, but also affected the cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community.
They said the blasphemy had given a chance to extremists to take advantage of the situation to create a law and order situation across the country. Demonstrations were right of the people, but they should not resort to violence, they said.
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