Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the latest attack on press freedom in Afghanistan, in which militants armed with guns and grenades stormed the headquarters of Shamshad TV in Kabul today, killing one guard and wounding at least 20 employees.
“Gunmen carried out a suicide attack at 10 a.m., in which two guards were killed,” Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid said. “After entering the premises, they began to fire on personnel.”
According to Shamshad TV’s Twitter feed, at least 20 journalists and other employees were wounded in the attack, which forced the TV channel off the air for several hours. The Taliban denied any involvement.
“We offer our condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims and we remind the state, the police, and the security services that they have a duty to protect the media and journalists,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran/Afghanistan desk.
“The primary objective of these press freedom predators is to deprive the population of independently-reported news and information by creating a climate of terror that reduces the media to silence.”
Launched in 2004, privately-owned Shamshad TV is a very active Pashto-language TV channel. For the past few days, there had been an exhibition about 24 years of mine clearance in its building, which it shares with the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR).
Afghanistan is ranked 120th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
(c) 2017 Reporters without Borders