Pajhwok Afghan News, September 4, 2007

IFJ denounces assault on Afghan TV journalist by police

Security officials stopped TV reporter Qasim Rahimi in a taxi, beat him and confiscated his equipment without any explanation or justification

NEW YORK: A global organisation working for safeguarding journalist rights has denounced the beating of on an Afghan television reporter covering the recent South Korean hostage crisis in the restive Ghazni province.

Omid Yakmanish... was attacked and threatened with death. It began when he filmed a parliamentary brawl and an attempted attack on a female MP last month.

First he was confronted and slapped by an MP who had once been a senior Taliban official. A day later came the death threat. "Slaughtering a sheep is difficult for me, but killing you would be easy," the MP told him.
Globe and Mail, June 13, 2006

Security men attacked Ariana TV reporter Qasim Rahimi on his way to where talks on the release of 19 Korean hostages were held on August 28, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said on Tuesday.

Quoting its affiliate Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), the IFJ said security officials stopped his Rahimi in a taxi, beat him and confiscated his equipment without any explanation or justification. But Ariana TV news manager Abdul Qadir Mirzaai later said the equipment had been retrieved with the help of central and provincial police.

Condemning the incident, IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said: As well as a physical attack on a journalist going about his daily work, such violence holds back media freedom and the publics right to information.

Park added: The Korean hostage crisis is an important issue which has received global attention. It is a disgrace that Afghan security officials would disrupt the publics access to vital information.

In a statement, the media watchdog said it strongly rejected the violence directed at journalists attempting to carry out vital work in rebuilding Afghani society, and supported the AIJAs call to urge the Karzai government to ensure safety and protection for journalists working in Afghanistan.

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