June 7, 2018
Zakia Zaki, head and presenter of the Sada-e-Solh (Voice for Peace) local radio broadcaster was assassinated in June 2007 after three gunmen stormed her house in the Jabal-o-Seraj district of Parwan province, opening fire at her just in front of her toddler son.
In 2003, Mrs. Zaki established the Sada-e-Solh broadcaster in the district of Jabal-o-Seraj that quickly turned to a pioneer channel mostly reflecting problems regarding the human rights and particularly women’s rights.
Mrs. Zaki was a committed and critic journalist, who used to openly criticize the warlords and Taliban insurgents. Being brave brought her under danger and extremist groups and warlords frequently threatened her to death if she didn’t stop criticizing.
The Center for Protection of Afghan Woman Journalists on the 11th martyrdom of Zakia Zaki, expresses deep sorrows over lack of progress in investigation about her assassination and punishment of her murderers.
Mrs. Farida Nekzad, head of the Center for Protection of Afghan Woman Journalists, expressed concerns over carelessness regarding punishment of Mrs. Zaki’s murderers. “Unfortunately, the culture of impunity in our country has helped the murderers not to be punished,” said Mrs. Nekzad, who added that the perpetrators of the case were not punished despite hard working by the media and journalists’ supporting organizations that they should be punished.
She called on the government especially the judicial organs to identify and punish the perpetrators of late Zaki’s murder so it would be a lesson for criminals and prevent killing of reporters particularly female ones.
Aziz Tasal, member of Afghan Journalists’ Federation, said that more than 20 cases including late Mrs. Zaki’s were available that it was possible to punish the perpetrators and organizers of such incidents, but the government organizations has a unilateral judgment in this regard.
“The reporters who were targeted in public in the provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Kunduz and Uruzgan, the government should publicly try the perpetrators of these cases so we get assured that government is enough strong to prevent the powerful and mafia groups,” said Tasal.
The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization, in a statement, condemned lack of development in Zaki’s case, saying that the RSF wants serious and impartial investigation to clarify the reasons of the death of Zakia Zaki’s murder 11 years after the assassination of the prominent journalist.
“11 years impunity for the perpetrators of the late Zaki’s murder means 11 years encouragement of violence against female journalists,” said Reza Moeini, head of the RSF’s Afghanistan and Iran bureau.
“Despite the brave acts of the national unity government in efforts regarding the improvement of media and journalists’ situation such as forming of the joint government and media committee, but we witness no serious investigation by the government in this regard,” Moeini said.
“The RSF wants explanation and serious act over the missing of the case of late Zaki’s murder and the reason of giving impunity to the perpetrators and organizers of her assassination.”
At least nine female journalists have been directly targeted and killed by the terrorists and enemies of freedom of speech since the ouster of Taliban and the establishment of freedom of speech in 2001.
Report by: Beheshta Ayoubi
Edit by: Center for Protection of Afghan Woman Journalists