The cameraman, who had worked for the parliamentary channel for three months, has been identified as Noorullah, while the female employee has been identified as Farideh.
“We offer our condolences to the families and colleagues of Farideh and Noorullah, who have unfortunately become the first fatalities to be registered in RSF’s press freedom barometer in 2017,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Afghanistan desk “The deaths were not random. They were the deliberate victims of Taliban press freedom predators, whose barbarity towards the civilian population and the media is notorious.”
Halim Tanivir, a parliamentary cultural adviser and head of parliamentary radio and TV broadcasting, told RSF: “The twin bomb attack on the Afghan parliament’s annexes and the parliamentary TV channel’s headquarters was perpetrated by the enemies of the country’s progress and was clearly premeditated.”
At least 38 people were killed and 80 were wounded by the two bombs. The injured included two other employees of the parliamentary TV channel and Taher Pyman, a journalist with the weekly Kerad. Their injuries are not life-threatening. The attack was claimed by Taliban in a Twitter message that said the victims were “all intelligence agents.”
RSF reminds the Afghan government and international community that any negotiations with the Taliban should be conditioned on a prior explicit Taliban pledge to respect core international treaties, especially the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, which ban both state and non-state actors from deliberately attacking civilians, including media and journalists. Attacks on civilian targets constitute war crimes.
Afghanistan is ranked 120th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.