South Asian body condemns Afghan scribe's murder
Apr 10, 2007 - 10:45:42 AM
Lahore, April 10 - The South Asia Media Commission - has condemned the killing of Ajmal Naqshbandi, a young Afghan journalist, who was abducted along with an Italian journalist - later freed - by Taliban militants in Afghanistan.
The newly formed regional body set up to monitor media rights violations called on authorities to bring those responsible for Naqshbandi's death to justice.
'The perpetrators of this crime have shown absolute indifference to the value of human life by ignoring the calls of family, journalists and Afghans who called for Naqshbandi's safe return,' said N. Ram, SAMC chairman and editor-in-chief of India's The Hindu, and Najam Sethi, editor of Pakistan's Daily Times and general secretary of the commission.
'The rights of journalists to go about their work, free from interference or harm, should be recognised and respected by all,' they said in a statement released Monday by the commission's regional coordinator Husain Naqi.
Naqshbandi, a freelance journalist and translator, was kidnapped with Daniele Mastrogiacomo of Italy and a driver in Helmand March 5. The driver, Sayed Agha, was beheaded and Mastrogiacomo was released March 19 in a much-criticised swap for five Taliban insurgents.
The Taliban had made a similar demand for the release of Naqshbandi but the Afghan government did not relent the way it did in the case of the Italian journalist, the Daily Times reported.
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