Media workers spark Intl response over killing of Afghan journalists

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The attack on a bus carrying the employees of Kabul-based Khorshid TV on Saturday has sparked international reactions.

The attack left two people dead–a journalist and a studio technician–and six others wounded.

Officials of the TV network said such incidents are not investigated properly by the government.

“Just as other incidents that happened against big media outlets in Afghanistan are forgotten–we are not different from them. I am sure this incident will be forgotten once again,” said Rafi Rafiq Sediqqi, CEO of Khurshid TV.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi condemned the attack on employees of Khurshid TV, calling it a “terrorist” attack.

 Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, in a tweet said he is deeply saddened by the attack on Khurshid TV staff, and called on law enforcement authorities to fully investigate this “act of terrorism.”

“We condemn the vicious attack that killed two employees of Khurshid TV. Attacks on the media are attacks on Afghanistan’s freedom and progress. Our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. We stand with free media and are working hard for a peaceful Afghanistan,” the US Embassy in Kabul said in a tweet.

Afghan Journalists Safety Committee in a tweet said “as a result of an IED attack, two journalists of Afghanistan’s Khurshid TV were killed and five were injured. AJSC strongly condemns the attack and calls on security forces to identify the perpetrators.”

UK Ambassador Alison Blake said: “We deplore the attack on Khurshid TV and the deaths of two employees. Our sympathies and deepest condolences to their families and our brave journalist friends. We condemn all attacks on the media and journalists and stand by the Afghan media…”

National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib says that he was saddened to hear the report of an attack on Khurshid TV staff by the enemies of humanity and of a free press, and he expressed sympathy with the victims’ families and the media community.

Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Haneef Atmar condemns the “terrorist attack” on Khurshid TV, saying such attacks will not silence the voice of any journalist.

But Kabul-based journalists said such incidents are soon forgotten by officials and less attention is paid afterwards to the safety of media workers.

“It is a big issue and it can have big damages to media outlets in Afghanistan besides the threats they face by the coronavirus,” said Ayub Nasimi, a reporter.

“Such attacks by the enemies of freedom of speech can never damage our commitment for conveying information to the people,” said Jawed Farhad, head of newsgathering at Khorshid TV.

Taliban has rejected involvement in the attack.

This is not the first time the employees of the TV network were targeted. Last year in August, a bus carrying some staff members of Khorshid TV were targeted in the north of Kabul, leaving two dead.

SourceTolo News

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