Journalism: A Dangerous Profession in Afghanistan, Says IFJ

Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists to work, says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) following the death of an Afghan television reporter.

On December 17, Fahim Ihsan (30), reporter for the Mazar Governmental Television, died under mysterious circumstances after receiving death threats and being beaten in connection with his controversial and critical reports on local government officials on his television program Shere-Ma-Khane-Ma (My City, My Home).

The Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA) is investigating Ihsan’s death.

Ihsan’s death followed the injuring of a British journalist in Afghanistan days earlier.

On December 13, a roadside bomb detonated under a light-armored vehicle carrying three Canadian soldiers and a freelance British journalist near the town of Maywant, 90 kilometers west of Kandahar.

Two Canadian soldiers suffered a broken leg and ankle in the blast; Tim Albone, a freelance journalist working for The Globe and Mail was not seriously injured.

“These two incidents highlight the dangerous profession of journalism in Afghanistan,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren.

“Both foreign and local journalists in Afghanistan face the daily danger of being caught in the cross fire, such as Tim Albone was,” said Warren.

“Or paying the ultimate and tragic price as Fahim Ihsan did for reporting the truth,” said Warren.

“On behalf of the IFJ and the journalism community around the world I send my deepest condolences to Fahim Ihsan’s family, friends and colleagues,” said Warren.

Fahim Ihsan is the third journalist to be killed in Afghanistan during 2005.

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

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