Afghanistan: Journalist survives assassination attempt

An Afghan journalist affiliated with the Pajhwok News Agency has survived an assassination attempt by armed assailants in Faryab province on February 11. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) urge an immediate investigation and measures to ensure the full protection of the journalist.

Journalist Outbuddin Kohi at hospital. Credit : TOLOnews.

Journalist Outbuddin Kohi was returning home when he was fired upon just after 7pm in the city of Maimana. “Three bullets were fired. I rushed and as I got back up and I was about to open the car’s door and I saw the gunmen fleeing in a white car,” Kohi told Tolo News. The injured journalist was taken to the local hospital in Maimana for treatment.

According to the AIJA, the journalist received bullet- injuries, but has since recovered.

No group is yet to claim responsibility for the attack. Police launched an investigation into the attack and the murder attempt has been broadly condemned by the media community.  

On January 1, 2021, Afghan journalist and human rights activist Bismillah Adil Aimaq became the first journalist to be killed in the Asia-Pacific region when he was targeted and killed by unidentified gunmen in Dara-e-Taimoor village in Ghor province.

According to the UN’s report on ‘ Killing of human rights defenders, journalists and media workers in Afghanistan’, at least 11 human rights defenders and journalists have been killed in targeted attack in Afghanistan since peace talks started between the Taliban and Afghan government last September.

The AIJA said: “The AIJA is worried for the increased targeted attack on journalists. We call on the Afghan government to prosecute the perpetrators and ensure safety of journalists.”

The International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) said: Despite the government’s assurances and commitment to protecting journalists, the situation for media in Afghanistan is extremely worrying with an escalation in attacks. The IFJ urges stronger dialogue between the Afghanistan government and the media fraternity to resolve this critical issue.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram