Journalists lament colleague’s death
KABUL (Pajhwok): Supporting the call for a 15-day boycott of Taliban’s coverage, a number of media outlets on Saturday condemned the deaths of an Afghan journalist, his spouse and children in a suicide attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul.
Sardar Ahmad, who worked for AFP, was killed along with his wife and two children during Thursday night’s attack on the Serena Hotel that left a total of nine people dead, including foreigners.
A number of media outlets on Saturday asked the government to punish those aligned with militants in organising the attack.
Siddiqullah Tawhidi, the director of Nai, an organisation that supports open media in Afghanistan, said they were concerned about the increasing dangers facing journalists. He said threats to journalists had lately increased.
The Afghanistan Journalist Center in a statement called on media groups to join the call seeking a 15-day boycott of Taliban in protest against the killing of Ahmad and other innocent people.
The Committee of Journalist Safety has decided to boycott Taliban related incidents for a period of 15 days.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) also condemned Ahmad’s death, calling him a professional journalist.
“From our point of view, it was a direct attack on the freedom of journalism and has surly no justification,” the journalist body said.
Within about 12 hours of Ahmad’s death, another Afghan journalist, Parvaiz Najib, was killed in a bomb attack in southern Kandahar province.
“Looking to the savage nature of these killings, we are deeply concerned about the increasing violence against journalists in the country,” the AIJA statement said.
“Such attacks on journalists will definitely have a visible impact on efforts to ensure the upcoming elections are impartially covered.”
The journalist body asked all parties to the conflict, especially the Taliban, who had claimed credit for the Kabul attack, to fulfill their commitment to avoiding any kind of violence against journalists.
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