IFJ Condemns Afghan Members of Parliament Attack on Cameraman

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the assault on Tolo TV cameraman Umid Yakmanish, who was beaten by two members of parliament while covering a parliamentary debate on May 7, 2006 in Kabul.

After controversial remarks denouncing the atrocities of the Mujahideen by fellow parliamentarian Malalai Joya, a heated argument ensued, and Khyal Mohamad Husaini for Ghazni and Fazlullah Mujadidi, representing Logar province, then attacked Yakmanish to prevent him filming the dispute.

“This sort of behaviour, especially by members of parliament, is totally and utterly unacceptable,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

“We urge the parliamentary speaker to hold accountable those responsible for the assault and to ensure that there are no repeats of this outrageous behaviour by Afghan politicians,” Warren said.

Another journalist, Haseeb Sharifee, was also threatened on May 5, by the Takhar provincial council for broadcasting a poem mocking the government on Takhar T.V.

“We call on the Afghan government to respect freedom of expression and to make a solid commitment to supporting journalists in carrying out their duties to report freely and fairly and to keep the Afghan people properly informed,” Warren said.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries