Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Afghanistan 9 October 2006

Authorities urged to lose no time in establishing who killed German journalists

Reporters Without Borders today called on the Afghan authorities to quickly identify those responsible for the murders of German freelance journalists Karen Fischer and Christian Struwe and to establish their motives. The Afghan authorities said they had identified six people they want to question.

Fischer, 30, and Struwe, 38, were shot dead in the tent in which they were sleeping at a roadside in Baghlan province, north of Kabul, in the early hours of 7 October. They had often worked for the German public broadcasting company Deutsche Welle. They had also worked for UNICEF.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, which took place on the day that a Journalists Memorial was inaugurated in Bayeux, in northern France, to pay homage to the dozens of journalists who are killed each year in the course of their work,” Reporters Without Borders said.

“The deaths of Fischer and Struwe should serve as a reminder to foreign journalists to take great care when travelling around Afghanistan,” the organisation added.

Fischer and Struwe had been on their way to Bamiyan to do a report on its historic sites, including the remains of the large Buddha statues that were demolished by the Taliban in 2001. The gunmen armed with AK-47s who shot them in their tent also riddled their car with bullets. This, and the fact their assailants did take their equipment or passports suggests the motive was not robbery.

The Afghan interior ministry expressed regret that Fischer and Struwe were travelling without a guide.

Baghlan is a province that has so far seen few attacks by Taliban insurgents. Mullah Dadullah, one of the Taliban military chiefs, announced on 4 September that the movement led by Mullah Omar would kill any journalists who used information provided by the NATO forces operating in Afghanistan. “We have the Islamic right to kill these journalists,” he told the Associated Press.

The German government said it condemned the double murder with the “utmost firmness” and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.

Last July, an Afghan employee of the privately-owned TV station Aryana was killed when a suicide bomb was quickly followed up by second one in the same place near the southern city of Kandahar.




In this country
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
21 April - Afghanistan
Emroz TV presenter freed on bail after being held because of complaint by Iran
24 March - Afghanistan
Authorities arrest two TV presenters in Kabul
10 March - Afghanistan
Journalist working with Canadian media, released five months ago by US military, gunned down in Kandahar
9 March - Afghanistan
Call for presidential pardon after supreme court upholds Perwiz Kambakhsh’s 20-year jail sentence for "blasphemy"

in the annual report
Afghanistan - Annual report 2008
Afghanistan - Annual report 2007
Afghanistan - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years