Afghanistan: UN expert condemns killing of journalists as ‘attack on right to know’
A United Nations human rights expert on Tuesday strongly condemned the killing of nine journalists in Afghanistan who were among the victims of Monday’s terrorist attack in the country’s capital.
The condemnation came just in advance of World Press Freedom Day, annually observed on 3 May.
“Yesterday’s attack, like all such attacks on journalists, is an attack on Afghanistan’s free press and the public’s right to know,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, who called on the Government to bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to media reports, after an initial suicide attack, another suicide bomber targeted journalists who had arrived on the scene, to cover the event. The terrorist group ISIL – also known as Da’esh – claimed responsibility for the bombings that reportedly killed at least 41 people and injured 45 others, including women, children and emergency responders, as well as media workers.
“These attacks serve to remind those who glibly demonize the press that journalists serve a crucial function in societies: the illumination of all matters of public interest,” Mr. Kaye said. “The legacy of those killed is their reminder that serving the public’s right to know, can be dangerous and deserves all of our respect and support.”
On Monday, Secretary-General António Guterres and his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, condemned the attacks.
In a Press Statement on Tuesday, the Security Council condemned the bombings as “heinous and cowardly terrorist attacks.”
“The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Afghanistan” and they wished a speedy and full recovery to the injured, added the statement.