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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

BBC journalist killed in the south of the country

Monday, June 09, 2008

We express deep sadness at the murder of Abdul Samad Rohani, 25, a journalist working for the Pashtu service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The journalist's body was found near the city of Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, one day after he was kidnapped. The previous day, 7 June, a contributor to BBC radio and television was killed in Somalia.

Samad Rohani was the head of the BBC's Pashtu service in Helmand province. He had also worked with the Afghan independent news agency Pajhwok since 2004. His colleagues told Reporters Without Borders that he had received several phone threats from a local chief who accused him of supporting the Kabul government and of "boycotting" news put out by the Taliban. Rohani's home was the target of an attack in his absence in 2006.

"He was one of our best journalists. He covered a very difficult region. It is a serious blow for press freedom, but they will not manage to silence people with these kinds of acts" said Lotfolah Latif, editor for the BBC in Afghanistan. Danish Karokhel, director of Pajhwok, told Reporters Without Borders of his fears for the safety of journalists who "come under a huge amount of pressure for their independent and impartial work". The Afghan authorities strongly condemned "this vicious murder".

R.I.P. Abdul Samad Rohani
posted by Travis, 9:44 am

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