The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemns the May
15 attack on Nilofer Habibi, a woman presenter and reporter for the Herat station of Afghanistan’s official broadcast
agency, Radio and Television Afghanistan (RTA).
According to reports from IFJ partner the Afghanistan Independent Journalists’
Association (AIJA), Habibi sustained minor injuries when her attackers forced her
into a vehicle and demanded that she stop working for the Herat TV station.
The director of the Herat TV station, Mr Hisam-ud-din Shams, reportedly
told the AIJA that Habibi and two other women journalists have received several
death threats for their professional work.
The other two women journalists have since left the television station,
The IFJ is alarmed at reports of another incident involving Herat TV
where the governor of Herat
province allegedly summoned a senior reporter to his office on May 11 and
assaulted him physically.
Mr Farhad Joya was acting director of Herat TV when the assault reportedly
case hearing adjourned
An appeals court in Kabul
on May 18, adjourned the hearing of the case against Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh, 24,
a journalist facing the death sentence for an alleged crime of “blasphemy”, until
Sunday May 25.
The IFJ learns that the court heard the arguments of the prosecution
before adjourning the hearing because a defence lawyer was not present.
In his statement before the court, Kambakhsh said that he had been forced
by Afghan intelligence and security agencies to make a confession of his
alleged crime and that he did not have a defence lawyer when a court in the
northern province of Balkh sentenced him to death in January.
He also claimed that a rumour that he had converted religion was being
intentionally spread with a view to discrediting his defence.
“We urge the Afghan authorities to ensure that Kambakhsh is provided
competent legal counsel at the appeals stage,” said Jacqueline Park, IFJ Asia-Pacific Director.
“We hope to see the strong free speech guarantees of the Afghan
constitution given effect through a constructive and enlightened ruling from
“These attacks on journalists, whether through physical assaults or via
the courts, serve only to stifle free speech in Afghanistan.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents
over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries