Intl press freedom org. condemns death of two BCC journalists


Paris : An international press freedom organization expressed its “deep sadness” over the murder of a journalist working for the Pashtu service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Afghanistan.

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The body of Samad Rohani, 25, was found in southern Afghanistan, one day after he was kidnapped. Also another contributor to BBC radio and television was killed in Somalia on June 7.

Rohani disappeared after his vehicle was stopped by armed men in the suburbs of Lashkar Gah. His body was found with three bullet wounds the following day.

Reporters Without Borders offered its “deepest condolences” to the journalists family and colleagues, saying Rohani was “typical of many contributors to the BBC who risk their lives to ensure the independence and pluralism of news in their countries.” “They cover fighting in the south of Afghanistan despite the risks and report on atrocities against civilians,” the Organization added.

Rohani was the head of the BBCs Pashtu service in Helmand province. He had also worked with the Afghan independent news agency Pajhwok since 2004. His home was the target of an attack in his absence in 2006.

The Organization quoted BBC editor in Afghanistan saying that Rohanis death is considered “a serious blow for press freedom, but they will not manage to silence people with these kinds of acts.” Furthermore, another official expressed his fears for the safety of journalists who “come under a huge amount of pressure for their independent and impartial work.” In 2007, Sayed Agha and Adjmal Nasqhbandi, driver and guide for Italian reporter Daniele Mastrogiacomo, were killed by the Taliban in Helmand province.

Nasteh Dahir Farah, working for the BBC in Somalia was shot dead by armed men as he returned from work to his home in Kismayu, southern Somalia. His killers have not been identified.