Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Afghanistan 14 June 2007

Radio journalist received threats prior to her murder, husband says

In an interview for the BBC, the husband of radio station director Zakia Zaki, Abdul Ahad Ranjbar, said she received threats shortly before her murder on 6 June, but she only told her sister, Nazifa Zaki, a general in the Aghan army, in order not to alarm the rest of the family. Her sister preferred to wait until the funeral was over before telling Ranjbar about the threats.

Ranjbar was not at home the night his wife was killed. He said he got a call from one of his sons late at night saying: “Come back home, because Mum has been killed.” He returned home to find she had been shot in the head and chest. Her baby and 7-year-old son were with her in the bedroom when she was killed, but they were not hurt.

Ranjbar said he had always worried about his wife because of her activism. “She always faced challenges and problems from different groups, but she never wanted to give in, she was never afraid,” he said.


8.06.07

Tribute to gifts and courage of slain woman radio station director

Reporters Without Borders today urged the authorities to pursue the investigation into Zakia Zaki’s murder and to continue to examine all possibilities after the police reported that they had arrested six suspects. Zaki’s relatives and friends say local warlords were behind her killing while the police blame the armed group Hezb-i-Islami.

“We will not forget Zakia Zaki’s courage and gifts,” the press freedom organisation said. “We count on an active campaign by the Afghan and international media to ensure that her murder does not go unpunished. Only an independent enquiry will dispel the doubts that already exist about the identity and motives of her killers. We are extremely worried about the threats to press freedom and women’s rights, two gains of the post-Taliban period.”

Reporters Without Borders points out that it was Afghan leader Ahmed Shah Massoud who personally backed the launching of Zaki’s radio station, Sada-e-Sulh (Peace Radio), in 2001 before the Taliban had been driven out of Kabul. The French NGO Droit de Parole funded the start-up of the station, which has continued to operate since Zaki’s murder on 5 June.

Hundreds of local residents, journalists and women paid tribute to Zaki at her funeral on 6 June in Jabalussaraj, in the northern province of Parwan, where she lived. Local religious leaders hailed her as “a mother, wife and leader” of the community.

Abdul Manan Farahi, the head of the interior ministry’s anti-terrorism department, announced yesterday that six suspects had been arrested and that two of them, linked to Gulbadin Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i-Islami, were the ones who shot Zaki.

Journalists’ organisations yesterday held a news conference in Kabul to condemn her murder, the climate of violence and the inability of the authorities to protect journalists. Zaki was gunned down just six days after the murder of a young woman TV presenter in Kabul, and a few weeks after the attempted murder of Ahmad, a reporter with a new radio station in Nijrab, a district adjoining Parwan province. The reporter was badly wounded in the attack on May 25th.

A video documentary about Zaki produced with the help of the non-governmental organisation AINA can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf4j9pQ7L6M

Photos of Zaki by AINA photographers can also be downloaded at the foot of this release.




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