News

June 6, 2014 - Updated on January 20, 2016

RWB renews call to reinforce journalists’ security for presidential election


Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the terrorist attack of 6 June in Kabul that hit the convoy of Abdullah Abdullah, one of two candidates in the second round of presidential elections scheduled for 14 June.

At least six people were killed in the attack. They included netizen Reshad Ahmadi. And several journalists were among the approximately 20 people wounded. The journalists included Majid Saeedi, an Iranian photographer who last year won the Lucas Dolega Award.

Sayed Gul Agha Hashemi, head of the criminal investigation department of the Kabul police, told AFP that the terrorist assault came in two parts. “The first attack was a suicide car bomb...and the second was a mine attack,” he said.

Ahmadi was 25 years old and an active member of Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign team. He was killed instantly in front of the Ariana Hotel. “The car explosion was so strong that it threw me onto Abdullah Abdullah’s vehicle,” Saeedi told Reporters Without Borders. “I received a blow to my head and numerous wounds, but I’m doing well.”

As the second round of the elections approaches, RWB calls again on Afghan officials to take all possible measures to ensure journalists’ safety.

“The enemies of democracy and freedom of information - the Taliban and the armed groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda - want to establish a climate of terror, in order to deny all legitimacy to the presidential election,” said Réza Moïni, head of the press freedom organization’s Iran-Afghanistan desk. “These attacks threaten journalists’ right to inform the Afghan people.”

On 2 April, RWB called for strengthening security for journalists.

And in a report in March on the state of press freedom in Afghanistan: “Presidential Election in Afghanistan: Local Media on the Front Line,” the organization condemned impunity for crimes against the media and laid out recommendations to the counter the trend.

Afghanistan was ranked 128th of 180 countries in the RWB World Press Freedom Index 2014.