Journalist "murderers" sentenced to long-term prison in north-east of Afghanistan

Journalist "murderers" sentenced to long-term prison in north-east of Afghanistan

August 13, 2013

Jajrab, Kapisa province: A primary court in Nijrab district of Kapisa province convicted two brothers of Mohammad Mohsen Hashemi, a local journalist for his murder to 16 years in prison and acquitted his father and another brother, but the attorney and the wife of the deceased journalist called the verdict injustice.

Khodadad, Head of Nijrab Primary Court of Najrab told Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC), that Mawlavi Mohmmad Asef, 38 and Waism 28, brothers of the Mohsen were convicted to 16 years in jail and father and his another brother were acquitted due to lack of evidences.

"The verdict was issued based on the dossier prepared by the attorney and in respect to the article 396 of Afghanistan Criminal Code, but both sides can appeal to the higher courts." He added.

Mohsen Hashemi 30 had worked as a Technician Manager of Voice of Najrab local radio. He was also a presenter of "Murwareed-i-Honar", a literary program and "Roydadhaye Hafte" a social and political program at the radio for four years.

His body which was shut in his head and had serious injury in the neck, found after 18 days missing from a well in Parayat village of the district in May 20.

Mohammad Dawood, district' attorney calls the verdict, injustice and said they will appeal to the higher court.

"We prosecuted the accused. They made a life attempt at Mohsen and continued their hostility against him due to family disputes." He added.

Family members of Mohsen Hashimi refused their involvement in murdering and called for the revision of the verdict. However, Mohsen’s wife said that the verdict was injustice and warned against the possible release of alleged people.

"Father and three brother of my husband had continuously making disputes against my husband on many issues; like temporary work at French military base in the district and in particular, he was harassed and criticized for his social and political programs at radio, but Mohsen was refusing them all the time." She said.

"I have raised my voice against the verdict. They all should have been sentenced to death or life imprisonment. I am currently living with my one year old daughter at my father's residence and afraid of their possible release by the interference of the corrupt official and the threats from their side toward me and my child." She added.

Abdul Motaleb Hamed, Head of Voice of Najrab private local radio also raises similar concerns but hopes to see the appealing court issue an appropriate verdict.

18 journalists, including 12 Afghan journalists have been murdered in Afghanistan since 2001, but authorities have shown no progress in pursuing suspects in 15 of them.

The planned 2014 NATO withdrawal has raised new concerns about the situation of media freedom and safety of journalists.