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AFGHANISTAN

SIXTH ANNUAL IFJ PRESS FREEDOM REPORT FOR SOUTH ASIA (2007-2008)

Saturday 3 May 2008

All the versions of this article: [English] [فارسى]

Media Workers Killed

June 1 2007: Shokiba Sanga Amaaj, who worked at the
private Shamshad Television channel, was shot dead at home. The
AIJA could not confirm that Shokiba was killed due to her work,
but she had suffered intimidation and received several threats
warning her to stop working at the station.

June 6 2007: Zakia Zaki, journalist and producer of Peace
Radio, gunned down inside her home near Kabul. Unidentified
gunmen fired seven bullets into her. She died instantly in the
presence of her eight-year-old son. The case remains unsolved.

December 28 2007:
Abdul Munir, producer and presenter of
Afghanistan Radio Television in Jawzjan (RTA-Jawzjan), was shot
dead, when he was traveling from Jawzjan to Mazar-e-Sharif and
his bus came under attack by an armed gang of looters.

January 14 2008: Carsten Thomassen, a Norwegian reporter
for Dagbladet, was killed after a suicide bomb attack at the Serena
Hotel in Kabul. He was hit by gunfire during the attack and later
died during surgery.

Physical Harm, Threats and Intimidation.

May 24 2007: Abdul Manaf, a journalist of Radio Saday-e-
Nejrab was on his way to a relatives’ house in Kapisa Province,
when he was fired upon by an unidentified gunman. He was
seriously wounded when a bullet struck his left thigh.

May 30 2007: Ahmad Shokib Dost, reporter for Ariana TV,
was mistreated by security officials inside the parliamentary house
while he was preparing a report of the day’s parliamentary session.

June 12 2007: Farida Nekzad, chief editor of Afghanistan’s
only independent news agency, Pajhwok and the vice-president of
South Asia Media Commission received death threats by both
phone and email.

June 23 2007: copies of the Mashal weekly in Kandahar city,
were gathered by a faction loyal to MP Noor-ul-Haq Alumi,
preventing its distribution.

July 24 2007: Fazal Rahman Oria, editor in chief of Mashal
weekly received death threats from supporters of General Dostum,
the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army. Also a
letter from the office of the Chief of Army staff was sent to the
Media Violation Commission of the Information and Cultural
ministry, warning of the consequences should they ignore it.

June 27 2007: Abdul Muaeed Hashimi, Regional Reporter of
Pajhwok Afghan News Agency and Khan Wali Kamran,
Reporter of Ariana TV, were stopped by police. Both journalists
and their driver were badly beaten by armed National Security
Directorate (NSD) officers and the Laghman governor’s
bodyguards, with the butts of their AK-47s.

August 4 2007: Kamran Mir Hazar, chief editor of website
Kabul Press was arrested after publishing articles critical to high
ranking government officials and was later released. Hazar shut
down Kabul Press because of the constant intimidation and
pressure from officials.

August 12 2007: Yawali Ghagh Radio was attacked by Taliban
forces. In previous incidents they abducted the station’s security
guard and set the station on fire.

August 15 2007: Sayed Ismail Ansari, Director of ART in
Kunduz told the AIJA, he had been receiving death threats for two
weeks in the form of text messages, letters and phone calls from
Taliban insurgents.

August 22 2007: Charles Dubois and Patrice Roy,
cameraman and journalist for Radio-Canada Television, traveling
with Canadian troops from Zerai District, Southern Kandahar to
Kandahar city sustained injuries when a roadside bomb hit their
vehicle.

August 28 2007: Qasim Rahimi, Ariana TV reporter, was
stopped and beaten by security officials on his way to attend a
press conference of Taliban representatives at the Red Crescent
Society office in Ghazni province.

August 30 2007: copies of Kuner magazine were confiscated by
Governor Farmanullah Zahid, before they could reach the public,
after an article critical of the Kuner Governor had been published.

September 2 2007: Ghulam Ali Sarem, chief editor of Etesam
monthly magazine, came under attack from the ANA when he was
photographing the result of a suicide attack in an army bus which
killed 30 people and injured 20 more.

September 12 2007: Marajuddin Manzoor, was forcefully
prevented from entering the radio station he manages because it
had been taken hold of by Khwaja Abdul Rahim, District Chief of
Karabagh with the support of the US media organisation
Internews. The issue was later resolved.

September 24 2007: Radio Stations Milli Paygham and Radio
Istiqlal, both established with the technical support of Internews,
a US-based media organisation, were attacked by unidentified
gunmen.

September 30 2007: Farid Ahmad, the cameraman of
Afghanistan Radio Television (RTA) was injured when he was
trying to film an underground mine being demolished.

September 2007: Lal Pacha Azmoon, senior Journalist, and
provincial representative of AIJA in Nangarhar received death
threats for a year and a half, from persons, who identified
themselves as loyal to the Taliban.

October 10 2007: Mohammad Hanif Elham, presenter of
Ariana Radio programme, Emroze Der Tarekh told the AIJA that
he had received threats more then four times in the previous five
months, from anonymous callers.

October 12 2007: Mujhad Jawad, reporter with Liberty Radio
told the AIJA that after broadcasting reports condemning suicide
attacks, he received threats from the Taliban.

October 18 2007: Fayez Khorshidi , reporter for Press TV of
Iran was abducted by foreign military and beaten until he became
unconscious. He said after regaining consciousness he was
interrogated, then released.

October 22 2007: Dayan Ahmadi regional reporter of Liberty
Radio for Takhar and Badakhshan Provinces received death threats
from the warlord Habib-ur-rahman, about whom he had
published critical stories.

November 2 2007: chief editor, Khalil Amiri and coordinator,
Sheer Agha Nejati of Faryad Radio came under the attack of
gunmen just outside their office in the western province of Herat.
Both journalists were badly beaten and Amiri was injured.

November 5 2007: Masoud Hussaini, photographer for
Associated Press, was beaten by the security guards of the Afghan
president.

November 12 2007: a rocket struck Radio Saday-e-Nejrab but
didn’t cause any damage. Previously the station’s manager Abdul
Mutalib Hamid had received anonymous death threats.

November 15 2007: Fazal Rahman Oria, chief editor of the
daily Erada had been frequently summoned before the Religious
and Cultural Affairs Commission to explain his publication of
articles critical of government members.

December 3 2007: Ali Asghar Akbarzada, producer of the
programme Ayna-e-Shahr RTA was targeted by unidentified
gunmen, when he was on his way home. He was unhurt.

December 4 2007: Omar Mohammadi, radio journalist for
Salam Watandar, was verbally abused and threatened by police
and their district commander, while covering a suicide attack on
the road to the airport in Kabul.

December 25 2007: Shoaib Ahmadi, reporter for Cheragh
daily, was preparing reports about the achievements of an Afghani
boxer. As a result of an argument the journalist was kicked and
punched by the Olympic Committee’s Head of Kickboxing.

December 15 2007: Kabul Shahan weekly was forced to relocate
its offices after the newspaper’s owner, Sidiqullah Sahil, received a
threatening letter stamped and signed by the Taliban Islamic
Emirate of Afghanistan.

December 30 2007: Mina Habib, a journalist of Cheragh daily
was forced to delete pictures by police after she had photographed
police beating a boy selling from a roadside cart.

February 13 2008: Journalist Attaullah Sahil, presenter and
reporter of Estiqlal Radio in Logar province was beaten by
personnel of the Afghan NSD in Logar province.

February 18 2008: five journalists from various media were
threatened with guns by security officials outside the Balkh prison
as the Deputy Minister for Commerce and Industries, Zia-ud-din
Zia, visited the site.

March 28 2008: Radio Zafar attacked when two armed gunmen
entered the premises, tied up the security guards and set the
station on fire.

April 6 2008: Radio Faryad producer Khadija Ahadi’s, home
attacked with a grenade. Part of her home was destroyed. Khalil
Amiri, owner and chief editor also reported being interrogated by
the ANSD.

Date Unknown: Muhammad Rasoul Adil, regional reporter
of Ariana TV, was beaten by police when he was preparing a
report using photos of bodies of Afghan National Army (ANA)
officers in Khost province. He sustained serious trauma to his arms
and lower back.

Date Unknown: Reporter Waliullah Shahin and three
colleagues at al Jazeera television – a cameraman, technical
engineer and driver – came under attack from an unidentified
gunman on their way to Helmand province. Waliullah Shahin was
hit by a bullet which injured his foot.

Date Unknown: Sher Mohammad Jahish, chief editor of
Radio Arzoo in Pulkhumri city has received threats on more then
16 occasions. These threats followed two broadcasts by Radio
Arzoo, which exposed a mail-order fraud.

Date Unknown: Habib Saeedi, journalist for Trajmir Radio in
the Baghlan province, told AIJA that he published a report of an
armed conflict between two local commanders. He was then
abducted, beaten and held in captivity for more than 12 hours by
the two commanders. He was rescued by police.

Abduction and Detentions

July 1 2007: Muhammad Asif Nang, chief editor of Aman
Magazine and spokesperson for the country’s office of
administration was arrested by security officials on the request of
President Hamid Karzai for an article he published. He was
detained for 13 days.

July 25 2007: Afghan Danish Journalist, Najeeb Khawaja, his
Afghan driver and translator, who worked for an international
magazine were kidnapped by Taliban insurgents from the
residence of tribal leader, Haji Madar and held in detention for 14
hours.

July 25 2007: German Journalist, Park Tock, a translator and
driver kidnapped from the residence of tribal leader, Haji Madar
and held in detention for 14 hours by Taliban insurgents from
Taangar village.

August 8 2007: Kamran Mir Hazar, chief editor for website
Kabul press and reporter of Salam Watadar Radio, was re-arrested
outside his office by gunmen of the ANSD. Following increasing
pressure from journalists, media activists, AIJA and CPAJ he was
released after six hours of detention unharmed.

August 28 2007: Mohammad Zahir Bahand, reporter of
Salaam Watandar was kidnapped by two armed men on
motorbikes, who identified themselves as Taliban. First they tied
and covered his eyes and then he was interrogated. He was freed
after an hour.

September 2 2007: Javid Ahmad, a journalist with Canadian
TV (CTV) was arrested in Kandahar, after allegations he had
improper contact with Taliban. He has been kept in military
detention without charge.

October 6 2007: Mujahid Kakar, chief editor of Lemar TV,
was arrested by security officials for allegedly publishing an
inappropriate picture from a suicide attack. Kakar was released on
the same day.

October 27 2007: Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh, reporter for
Jahan-e-Naw daily and journalism student at Balkh University, was
arrested by security officials for allegedly downloading an article
with anti-Islamic content. He has been sentenced to death for
blasphemy and remains in detention.

November 4 2007: Ghows Zelmay, spokesman for the
Attorney General, was arrested by police, in the Torkhum area, at
the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Ghows Zelmay
published a Dari translation of the Quran. He remains in
detention.

November 4 2007: Aziz Ahmad Tassal, reporter for Institute
of War and Peace Reporting, Abdul Samim from al-Jazeera TV,
Aziz Ahmad Shafi, a freelance journalist, and Abdul Wadoud
Hejranwere detained and for questioning by security officials
after interviewing the Taliban. They were released after several
hours in detention.

November 25 2007: four journalists from Cheragh daily detained
for several hours by security officials after a controversial article
was published.

November 28 2007: Ehsanullah Shahidzai, journalist for
RTA was detained by the Afghan NSD and accused of having ties
with Taliban rebels. He was released on December 4.
Ongoing, from December 15 2001: Al-Jazeera cameraman
Sami al-Hajj, known as prisoner 345 is the only journalist held
at Guantánamo Bay. A Sudanese national, he has been detained as
“an enemy combatant” for more than five years without trial. Al-
Hajj was arrested at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan,
while on assignment to cover the war against the Taliban. He was
transferred to Guantánamo in June 2002.

Date Unknown: Amir Shah and Fifnik Abrashi, reporters
for Associated Press (AP), were detained when they attempted to
report on the police search of Tolo TV. Police detained both
journalists for several hours. Their release came after AP
communicated with the President’s office in Kabul.

Date Unknown: Muhammad Reja, Manager of Daikundi
Radio was detained for six hours on the command of Daikundi’s
Governor, Sultan Ali after he published a report linked to the
country’s economic and financial ministries.

In the Balance:Press Freedom in South Asia 2007-2008

An IFJ Asia Pacific report


IFJ website

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Forum posts

  • Salaam watandaran,

    I am really sorry to hear all these issues going on in our beloved country I had a friend by the name of Karima Rahmani who was also working for press and she was receiving threats and warnings the same like above mentined ladise.I donot know where is she now? or weather she is alive or not if any one knows where is she plz give me a message on  yahoo.com>. I am really worried about her plz help me to find her.

    • yes i know her. she was here in nebraska in 2006. she was here in University of Nebraska for a short period of education, but i dont where she is now either. somebody told me that she had some problem in afghanistan.

    • As one of afghan citizen that i mentioned the reality of Karima Rahmani story, I had known her when she was lived in pakistan worked in one of English language center called AELC. she is a good friend of mine. she worked in presidential office. when i saw her in kabul , she seemed so nervous and worried. i talked with her and mentioned that she was attacked and threated by unkown persons since she came back from USA. she didnt know what she was going to do. after that i have not seen her i dont known where she has been. hope her life is save and sound . my pray is with her always

      regards,Daud

    • Yes i have known too , she was so nervous when i met her in her office. she didnt tell me about the problem i came to know that her life was in big danger. hope is fine and doing well

    • Hey Guys I knew shokiba Sanga,and Zakia Zaki they were such a brave and fearless ladies, their death was a big lose for our nation. Shame on Gov of Afghanistan and Global world. they are responsible for all these thing which happens for innocent people in Afg.

  • It is very shameful for global world and Gov of Afghanistan. I think they are responsible for all these nonces happens to innocent people in Afghanistan.

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