IFJ Condemns Killing of Two German Journalists by Gunmen in Afghanistan

The International Federation has condemned the killing of two German journalists by insurgents, thought to be Taliban fighters, in northern Afghanistan on Saturday.

Karen Fischer, 30, and Christian Struwe, 38, were working for the German network Deutsche Welle on a documentary project when they were killed. They had been travelling through the northern province of Baghlan, about 100 miles northwest of Kabul, and had stopped outside a village, where they set up a tent to spend the night. They were killed by attackers using AK-47 assault weapons.

“These deaths once again demonstrate how journalists are at risk in conflict zones,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “This shocking and tragic event brings home to all of us the need to strengthen protection for journalists in the field.”

Deutsche Welle said they were conducting research for a documentary and were en route to the province of Bamian, where two large Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban in early 2001.

The circumstances are still unclear, but according to initial reports no valuables were taken in the attack. Germany has 2,750 troops under the NATO command operating in Afghanistan where a resurgent movement of armed Taliban fighters has launched attacks on the government and international forces in the country.

“Our thoughts at this moment are with our colleagues in Germany and the families of the victims,” said White. “We will continue to demand action at the highest level to ensure journalists are protected in future.”

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 235 2207

The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 100 countries

Read a tribute to Karen from the German union DJV.