Afghan reporter in logar province threatened with death

Jul 19, 2014 - 16:53

PUL-I-ALAM : The reporter of Pajhwok Afghan News in central Logar province has been threatened with death after he filed a story regarding corruption with the connivance of Governor Niaz Mohammad Amiri.

Earlier, Pajhwok released a report, accusing Amiri of selling 20,000 liters of fuel stolen from an Afghan National Army (ANA)’s battalion and recovered by police. The fuel had been stolen by ANA’s 7th battalion commander in Mohammad Agha district on Saturday night.

Police recovered the oil before it was sold, a government official said. However, the governor directed police to hand over the oil to his men.

“Following his orders, police handed over the oil to Naik Mohammad, a resident of Mohammad Agha district, and another person from Khoshi district,” the source said.

Reporter Abdul Maqsood Azizi said unidentified callers, probably the governor’s security guards, had threatened him with death on Thursday night.

“It was at 8.10pm that an identified caller, speaking Dari, abused me and warned of eliminating me within hours,” the journalist said. The caller went as far as to say that nobody could ask him about his deeds.

Pajhwok has recorded the telephone conversation and the cell number. Azizi said he had informed the deputy governor and the governor’s spokesman about the threat.

Din Mohammad Darwesh, the gubernatorial spokesman, said they were looking into the reporter’s complaint. But he ruled out involvement of the governor’s guards.

Pajhwok Director Danish Karokhel, meanwhile, condemned the threatening calls to the reporter and said such warnings were aimed at muzzling the free media. He said the governor had been at odds with Azizi due to his reports.