Rights watchdog condemns assault on journalist

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The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the violent attack on Afghani journalist Ahmad Baseer Ahmadi, who was assaulted in Kabul while on his way home.

Ahmadi, a presenter at the pri-vately owned broadcaster Ayna TV, was walking to his house when two unidentified men assaulted him and at-tempted to shoot him.

The men, whose faces were covered by black handker-chiefs, reportedly shouted, “Reporter! Stop,” demanded to see his identification card and asked him where he worked.

“The Taliban has repeatedly failed to uphold its stated commitment to press freedom, as violent attacks against journalists continue and proper investigations or ac-countability are nowhere to be found,” said CPJ’s Asia pro-gram coordinator, Steven But-ler.

“The Taliban should reverse this trend by thoroughly inves-tigating the attack on Ahmad Baseer Ahmadi, and holding the perpetrators accountable.”

Ahmadi’s assailants report-edly demanded he unlock his phone and open his WhatsApp and Facebook ac-counts. When Ahmadi re-fused, the men beat him with pistols and proceeded to shoot at him when he asked for help.

The shots missed Ahmadi, but the men continued kicking him while he was on the ground, breaking his jaw.

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last August, the CPJ has voiced concerns about the safety of Afghan journalists, reporters and me-dia workers.

In October, unidentified gun-men injured journalists Abdul Khaliq Hussaini and Alireza Sharifi in separate attacks in Kabul, and Taliban members beat and detained Zahidullah Husainkhil. —Agencies

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