KABUL (SW) – The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center has strongly condemned the assassination attempt on Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, a journalist and editor associated with Salam Watandar.
In a statement, it said the incident was another sign of the escalation of violence, threats and intimidation of journalists in Afghanistan, which has caused deep concern in the country’s media community.
The Afghanistan Journalists Center expressed its deep concern over the incident and called on the Taliban officials to take the growing trend of violence against journalists and their threats seriously and live up to their commitments.
According to Ahmadi, he was fired at and physically thrashed on Saturday night, September 18th, on his way home, and was severely injured in the leg.
Ahmadi, who spent two days and nights in poor condition at a hospital and is now in the intensive care unit, said that when he returned home via a taxi car, the other passengers were having conversations about the state of affairs in the country.
According to him, everyone in the car spoke about the political unrest and its bad consequences. Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, who was severely injured in the leg, said that during the debate about the situation, everyone talked about their jobs and responsibilities, and that unemployment has increased with the rise of the Taliban.
A middle-aged man who was sitting next to him asked where Ahmadi worked. “When the man found out about my job he began saying ‘Radio Salaman Watandar’ is an American radio station”, Ahmadi said, adding that the man next to him suddenly asked the driver to divert the car to a different route. “At the same time, while I was about to get out of the car, he suddenly pulled out his weapon and fired several shots at me”, he said.
It is not clear which group carried out the attack.
However, Shah Hussein Rasouli, Salam Watandar’s editor-in-chief, said in response to the attack that targeting journalists would raise concerns about the deteriorating state of freedom of expression in the country. Rasouli added that the authorities should take serious note of violence against journalists in order to protect the media and the free activity of journalists.
Earlier, Shakib Siavash and Zafar Momand, two more Salam Watandar journalists who were sent to cover a street protest, were beaten by the Taliban.