BY Consortium for Press Freedom

Afghan journalists condemn colleague's murder

Journalists in several provinces on Saturday strongly condemned the killing of their colleague by unknown gunmen in eastern Nangarhar province and called for the murder to be thoroughly investigated.

Aqeel Mohammad Waqar, who worked for local radio station “Spin Ghar”, was shot dead on Friday night when he was attending a marriage ceremony in the Batikot district. Another person was injured in the incident.

Eastern zone Journalists and Writers Association members staged a protest demonstration in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, to condemn Waqar’s killing.

The association issued a statement that said Waqar had been airing programmes highlighting people’s problems. It urged the warring parties to stay committed to the freedom of speech and asked the government to bring to justice the killers.

The association head, Ustad Lal Pacha Azmoon, in his address to the protest rally said the warring parties should respect journalism.  He urged the government to investigate the incident.

Meanwhile, the press club in southern city of Kandahar issued a statement, strongly condemning the killing of Waqar. The press club urged the unity government to investigate the killing, arrest and punish the perpetrators.

It said the Afghan government had practically showed it was unable to protect journalists.

In southern Helmand province, the union of independent journalists also condemned the radio journalist’s murder. The union considered the killing an unforgivable act on the part of mafia groups out to suppress the freedom of expression.

The journalists asked intelligence agencies to find and arrest the killers of Waqar and bring them to justice as soon as possible.

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