Journalists murdered in Afghanistan war remind us of the need for peace

The United Nations (UN), Amnesty International and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), among other concerned citizens around the world, have condemned the incessant murders in Afghanistan and called for peace among all warring parties.

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Afghan Journalist, Sabawoon Kakar, is laid to rest after a bomb attack in Kabul on 30 April 2018, which killed eight other journalists.

Media reports confirmed on Monday that at least 10 journalists were killed in one of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan.

According to figures released by the UN Security Council, the total number of casualties is above 40, with at least at 45 people sustaining varied degrees of injury. Women, children and emergency responders, as well as media workers, were among those affected by the bloody attack.

UN’s condemnation came just in advance of World Press Freedom Day, which is observed annually on 3 May.

Speaking on the horrifying incident, David Kaye, a UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, advised the Afghan government to ensure that perpetrators of the dastard act are brought to justice.

“Yesterday’s attack, like all such attacks on journalists, is an attack on Afghanistan’s free press and the public’s right to know,” David said.

Onlookers at the scene said a group of journalists had gathered for live reports after a first suicide bomber exploded, with no premonition they were being lured to death. 30 minutes after the first explosion, another bomber who disguised himself as a media personnel also detonated his bomb, killing dozens, including women and children, CPJ wrote.

Terror group ISIL, also known as Daesh, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the bombings.

“These attacks serve to remind those who glibly demonize the press that journalists serve a crucial function in societies: the illumination of all matters of public interest,” Mr. Kaye continued in his speech.

“The legacy of those killed is their reminder that serving the public’s right to know, can be dangerous and deserves all of our respect and support.”

Secretary-General António Guterres  and his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, condemned the attacks on Monday.

Describing the Afghan attacks in a Press Statement on Tuesday, the Security Council said “the heinous attacks” are from a group of “cowards” who have no respect for the sanctity of human lives.

“The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Afghanistan. We wish the injured and affected persons a speedy and full recovery,” the statement added.

AFP also paid tribute one of the deceased persons, its chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai.

“This is a devastating blow, for the brave staff of our close-knit Kabul bureau and the entire agency,” AFP’s global news director, Michèle Léridon, said.

“We can only honor the strength, courage, and generosity of a photographer who covered often traumatic, horrific events with sensitivity and consummate professionalism.”