HRW, Afghan journos condemn Pajhwok office attack
KABUL (Pajhwok): Human Rights Watch and Afghan journalist bodies on Saturday strongly condemned Wednesday’s night bomb blast at the Pajhwok Afghan News regional office in eastern Nangarhar province.
The bomb which was fixed to the office’s entrance gate went off at about 8pm on Wednesday, injuring four guests at the nearby office of the American broadcaster Voice of America radio in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.
The Pajhwok staff members were not present at the office at the time of the blast, which destroyed the office equipment.
The influential New York-based human rights watchdog in a statement said Afghan journalists faced numerous threats, which had recently increased.
The Human Rights Watch said some government officials, militia groups, powerful warlords and radical groups had been killing and harassing journalists since 2002.
Referring the bomb attack on the Pajhwok office, the watchdog said it was the latest attack against media outlets in Afghanistan, where such attacks were on the increase.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Council of Journalists condemned the bomb blast at the Pajhwok bureau office and called it an attack on the freedom of expression and violation of human rights of common people.
The council issued a statement that said attacks on media organizations had lately increased, raising concerns about the freedom of speech.
The journalists urged the unity government and security forces to arrest the perpetrators behind the incident and bring them to justice.
The council also called on all parties to the conflict to avoid targeting journalists during their operations.
Meanwhile, the Kabul Press Cub also condemned the attack on the Pajhwok office and said it was an attack on the freedom of expression.
In a statement, the Kabul Press Club said Pajhwok Afghan News agency was among the outlets which provided timely information to the people about events taking place across the country.
The press club urged the government to prevent attacks on journalists and media offices and punish those involved in accordance with the law.
The governor of central Maidan Wardak province, Hayatullah Hayat, also condemned the attack.
In a statement, the new governor said Pajhwok Afghan News carried out its activities within the ambit of the media law and he strongly condemned the attack on Pajhwok office.
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