28 May 2015
Pul-e Khumri: An Afghan Member of Parliament from Baghlan province, Mr. Ashiqullah Wafa, threatens Tanweer private television station manager to death and warns that the media cannot cover events that are against the will of this MP.
Two days ago, the MP contacted Mr. Shir Mohammad Jahesh, the manager of Tanweer TV via phone and objected to his coverage of incidents in Baghlan province. The MP also warned that he will make special trip to Pul-e Khumri to punish Mr. Jahesh.
In an audio file accessed by the Afghanistan Journalists Center Mr. Wafa warns that media have no rights to cover the case of Aminullah Amarkheil, the former provincial police chief who has recently been transferred from this province.
Mr. Wafa accuses the former police chief of compromise with Taliban and claims that Mr. Amarkheil has involvement in the insecurity of the province.
Additionally, Baghlan MP accuses Tanweer TV for defamation.
In a report broadcast by Tanweer TV, a local resident claims that Ashiqullah Wafa’s men want to kill him.
The MP says, “I am not an ordinary person. I have impunity."While the station manager emphasizes that he broadcast the opinion of an interviewee, Mr. Wafa insists that airing such opinion has defamed him and his men.
The MP further warns, “[with this report] you defamed me and took away my honor in my area. Know your limits… I will come to Pul-e Khumri on Saturday, break your hands and legs and throw you on the street.”
The MP abuses the station manager and his family verbally and finally he warns Tanweer TV station manager whether he would be able to live in Pul-e Khumri from now on.
Afghanistan Journalists Center(AFJC) considers the threats and warning of this MP as steps towards censoring the freedom of speech and free media in Baghlan. While severely condemning this act, AFJC expresses deep concerns over the personal safety and security of Tanweer television manager.
The journalists defending organization pleads to Afghan Parliament to observe the threats and warning of Ashiqullah Wafa illegal and against the standards of public representation and announce the results of its observation publicly.
Afghanistan Journalists Center also asks the Afghan government to legally prosecute such unreasonable and outlawed people and do not allow them abuse their authority and power of public representation in the House of Parliament. AFJC further demands that such people who forces journalists to censor their coverage of events should be punished.