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Kabul Korrespondence

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

Afghan journalist shot dead in northwestern Pakistan

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reporters Without Borders is shocked and saddened to learn that Janullah Hashimzada, an Afghan journalist based in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, was killed yesterday in an armed attack on the minibus in which he was traveling near the town of Jamrud in the northwestern Khyber Agency.

Reporters Without Borders said. “His murder highlights the sharp decline in the security situation in Pakistan, especially in the western Tribal Areas, where journalists are less and less free to move about.”

Operating in plain view of other people, three masked men opened fire with pistols on the minibus, killing Hashimzada instantly and wounding another passenger, one of the passengers told a journalist.

Aged 37 and a student at Peshawar university’s journalism school, Hashimzada worked for several Afghan and Pakistani news media including the Afghan TV station Shamshad, the Pashtun newspapers Vahdat and Sahar. He had also worked for the Afghan independent news agency Pajhwok for the past four years.

Friends said he covered sensitive issues and had been subjected to threats and pressure during the past three weeks to abandon his journalistic work and leave Peshawar.

The head of Pajhwok, Danish Karokhel, told Reporters Without Borders: “He was a professional journalist who covered major stories on the other side of the border. The key to identifying his murderers is to establish who had an interest in preventing the dissemination of the information he possessed.”

Hashimzada was the fifth journalist to be killed this year in Pakistan, now the world’s second deadliest country for the media.
posted by Travis, 5:00 pm


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