January 23, 2018

Afghan journalists injured in two attacks, driver killed

la radio Sedai edelat & la Radio Sarhad
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the shooting attack on a TV crew’s vehicle in the eastern province of Nangarhar on 21 January and an arson attack the same day on a radio station in the west-central province of Ghor, and calls for full investigations into both attacks.

Reporter Baz Mohamed Shiwarir and cameraman Mohammad Rafiq were injured and their driver was killed when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in Bati Kot, a district near Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. The journalists work for the Nangarhar branch of the national radio and TV broadcaster.

Masked intruders deliberately set fire to Sedai Edelat (Voice of Justice), a radio station based in Firuzkoh, the capital of Ghor province, said Abdlvodod Samim, a journalist who was present at the time. He told the police that they “beat me badly, tied me up and then started the fire.”

Samim was in state of shock but sustained only minor injuries. The police are investigating the attack.

Voice of Justice has been broadcasting for 14 years and is the oldest radio station in Ghor province. This was the second attack on a media outlet in Firuzkoh in a month. A homemade bomb caused major damage to the premises of Radio Sarhad (Frontier) on 23 December. The police have yet to arrest the perpetrators.

We call on the Afghan government to conduct thorough investigations in order to identify the perpetrators and instigators of these attacks as soon as possible,” said Reza Moini, the head of the RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk. “Impunity encourages the media’s enemies. Protecting journalists needs to become a priority for everyone.”

Afghanistan is ranked 120th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.