Unknown armed men on Thursday gunned down radio journalist Qazi Mohammad Nasir Mudasir, the editor-in-chief of local Radio Paigham in Logar province.
Mudasir was on his way home from Mohammad Agha district in the province when gunmen stopped his car and killed him on the spot, local officials said.
NAI—an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan - has warned that cases of violence against journalists have dramatically increased in recent months. They called on government to take initiatives to better protect journalists.
In addition to this, Saleem Saleh, a spokesman for the provincial governor, has said that the Taliban pulled Mudasir from his car and executed him on the side of the road – an allegation the insurgency group has denied.
Referring to government’s responsibility toward the security of journalists, NAI has called on the Afghan government to deliver on its promises toward safeguarding the lives of journalists.
According to NAI, the killing of Mudasir raises the number of journalists killed in the country during the current year to 14 – up from five last year.
Up to 85 cases of violence against journalists were recorded last year, while this year it was about 420 cases, NAI said.
“Our demand from President (Ashraf) Ghani and (CEO Abdullah) Abdullah is to show their commitments toward freedom of press, they should personally investigate the case of Mr. Mudasir so that we can trust that press activities in the country moves in the right direction, but the current circumstances indicate that we are moving toward a perilous geography for journalists,” said chairman NAI Mujeeb Khelwatgar.
Meanwhile, civil society activists and journalists in Logar have said that Mudasir had no sort of rivalry or enmity with anybody in the area. They have called for a full inquiry into the killing.
“I knew Mr. Mudasir for the past seven years, he was a noble and innocent man. But the issue is that we have some problems in Logar and sometimes it is publically announced from the mosques that war against the journalists and government is legitimate,” said civil society activist Bashir Darez.
Two years ago, Mudasir’s brother was also killed in a mysterious way.
“Once Mudasir was taken by ISAF and once by the NDS forces for investigation, but they got nothing from him and released him. Mudasir was a good man and all young journalists in Logar had attended his class,” said a radio journalist in Logar Matiullah Sarwari.
Qazi Mohammad Nasir Mudasir was 55 years old and had worked in the media for over 25 years.
He was also known as a mentor to local journalists in Logar.
Mudasir is survived by four sons and two daughters.