Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that 27-year-old local radio host Kaled Aghah Yaghubi was gunned down in front of his children in his home in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of the northern province of Balkh, on 13 July. His murder comes amid a continuing wave of violence against journalists.
“They rang on his front door at around 1 p.m.,” said Ahmad Fahim Hagh Bin, the manager of Radio Lahzeh, the local station that Yaghubi worked for. “As soon as his four-year-old son opened the door, the gunmen looked around the room for Yaghubi and then opened fire.”
The police said he sustained a gunshot wound to the throat and died while being taken to hospital.
Yaghubi had worked for the station since 2010 and had recently begun hosting a programme called Tak Tak (One by One) about social problems. Balkh provincial police chief Abdolrahman Rahimi said the police had begun their investigation and would find the murderers.
“We offer our condolences to Yaghubi’s family and colleagues, and we urge the Afghan government to conduct a proper investigation into his murder in order to identify the perpetrators and instigators as quickly as possible,” said Réza Moïni, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Iran-Afghanistan desk.
“We remind the authorities that the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for acts of violence against journalists is one of the reasons why this violence is currently on the rise.”
Yaghubi was the fourth journalist to be killed in Afghanistan since the start of the year. In its latest report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) noted a 24 per cent increase in the number of civilians killed or wounded in attacks or other acts of violence in the first six months of 2014.
A wave of violence since the first round of the presidential election on 5 April has been claiming a growing number of victims, including journalists. Reporters Without Borders has registered 27 cases of physical violence or threats against journalists by local authorities, supporters of candidates, police or Taliban in Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, Herat, Ghazni, Kabul and other regions.
Six journalists were the victims of targeted or indirect violence from 2nd of July to 14 July. The latest victim was Seifolah Mafton of the independent news agency Pajhwok. He was attacked on 14 July by armed men, who beat him badly before taking his equipment. Bashir Ahmad Nadem, another Pajhwok journalist, was injured by a Taliban bomb attack on a police post in the city of Kandahar on 3 July.