The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong was deeply shocked and saddened by the deaths of 10 journalists in Afghanistan on April 30, including AFP’s highly respected chief photographer Shah Marai, much loved by his peers and the father of six children.
The reporters had all rushed to the scene of an earlier suicide attack in Kabul and were killed in a second blast, specifically targeting the media and other first responders.
“The bomber disguised himself as a journalist and detonated himself among the crowd,” AFP quoted a police spokesman as saying.
The FCC stands to defend press freedom throughout the region and is appalled by this brutal and despicable attack. It calls on Afghan authorities to safeguard and facilitate the important work of the country’s journalists.
In a separate incident on the same day, Ahmad Shah, a 29-year-old reporter with the BBC’s Afghan service, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Khost province, the broadcaster said.
We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and colleagues of the 10 journalists killed.
Those who lost their lives in Kabul were:
Mahram Durani – Azadi Radio
Ebadullah Hananzai – Azadi Radio
Yar Mohammad Tokhi – TOLO News Cameraman
Ghazi Rasooli – 1TV Journalist
Nowroz Ali Rajabi– 1TV Cameraman
Shah Marai – AFP Photographer
Saleem Talash – Mashal TV
Ali Saleemi – Mashal TV
Sabawoon Kakar – Azadi Radio
“This terrorist attack is a war crime and an organised attack on the Afghan media,” the Afghanistan Federation of Journalists (AFJ) said in a statement.
The FCC would like to express its solidarity with all journalists in Afghanistan who work heroically, risking their lives on a daily basis. April 30 will be remembered as the deadliest day for Afghanistan’s media since the fall of the Taliban.
The Human Rights Press Awards are run by the FCC, Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Journalists Association. The 22nd annual awards were held on May 12, 2018, in a ceremony at the FCC. Click here to find out who won.