Afghan President Ghani Orders Investigation into Murder of Journalist Nikzad

Afghan President Ghani on Tuesday condemned the killing of prominent photojournalist Rahmatullah Nikzad and ordered security authorities to do everything they could to investigate the crime and punish the perpetrators behind the unjust killing.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday condemned the killing of prominent photojournalist Rahmatullah Nikzad and ordered security authorities to do everything they could to investigate the crime and punish the perpetrators behind the unjust killing.

Nikzad is the fifth reporter who had been slain in the last two months as peace negotiations continued to move forward between the Taliban and the Afghan government, aiming to end the two-decade-old civil unrest in the violence-torn country.

Ghani described Nikzad’s assassination as an “attack on freedom of speech and a crime against humanity,” according to a statement released by the Presidential Palace late Monday.

Nikzad is a well-known freelance photojournalist who worked as a contributor to Associated Press and Al-Jazeera. He is also the leader of the Ghazni Journalists’ Union, which represents journalists in Ghazni province.

According to local authorities, Nikzad was shot three times in the chest by an unidentified group of gunmen in front of his home in Ghazni.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

Ghani also said that providing protection for journalists and other media workers and supporting their advocacies have always been some of his main responsibilities as the leader of the Afghan government.

“Assassination of journalists and media workers shows the enemy fears freedom of speech and public awareness about their ominous plans and crimes,” said Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of High Council for National Reconciliation.


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