Afghan journalist’s killers must be brought to justice, says UN official

By United Nations

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned the murder of an Afghan journalist and called for those responsible for his death to be brought to justice.

Ahmad Omed Khpalwak, 25, was a freelance reporter for the Pashto service of the BBC and the Afghan news agency Pajhwok.

He was among 19 people killed in a Taliban attack on 24 July in Tarin Khot, capital of the southern province of Uruzgan, which also left dozens of others injured.

“The death of a journalist in the exercise of his functions is a loss for a country struggling for democracy and the rule of law,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a news release.

“I am deeply concerned about continuing violence and loss of innocent lives in Afghanistan and trust that the perpetrators of this heinous crime will be identified and brought to justice,” she added.

One of the many tasks entrusted to the Paris-based UNESCO is to promote freedom of expression and freedom of the press, as well as to advise governments on how to foster an independent and pluralistic media.