Afghan journalist's murder in Pakistan must not go unpunished
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||18 September 2009|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Afghan journalist's murder in Pakistan must not go unpunished, 18 September 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ab89298c.html [accessed 9 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Afghan journalist Janullah Hashimzada's murder on 24 August in Jamrud, in northwestern Pakistan, has sown terror and disarray. His mourning colleagues fear for their ability to keep working as journalists, his widow and three children have been abandoned, and no proper investigation has been carried out.
Reporters Without Borders has interviewed some of the journalists who worked with Hashimzada, who was a stringer for various Afghan, Pakistani and international media (see video at the end of the release). They say they fear that "the truth will never be known" and they suspect his murder was organised by Afghan Taliban who had been threatening him for a long time.
In his reporting for the Afghan TV station Shamshad and the Pashto newspapers Vahdat and Sahar, Hashimzada covered sensitive subjects such as the war against terrorism and relations between Afghans and Pakistanis in the border region.
His death, the 27th murder of a journalist in Pakistan since 2001, jeopardises the work of gathering information in Pakistan's Tribal Areas. Rahimullah Yousafzai of News International stressed its dramatic consequences. "This event will obviously have an impact on the quality of journalistic work. It will scare everyone who writes about the war against terror and about those who are active in this part of Pakistan."
Yousafzai added: "Journalists have had to resign and leave the places where they live. Those who are continuing their activities in these areas are subject to many constraints. A kind of self-censorship is taking place. Journalists are taking a lot more precautions when they write their articles."
Hashimzada knew he was under threat and was very concerned for his family's safety. He has left a widow and three children, or whom the oldest is only 10. Reporters Without Borders has provided emergency financial aid so that they can continue attending school. The press freedom organisation urges Pakistani and international media and journalists' organisations to help the family.
About the murder of Aghan journalist Janullah Hashimzada
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