UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has condemned a terror attack on a meeting of journalists, which claimed the lives of journalists Sayed Hussain Naderi and Akmal Tabian in Mazar-e-Sharif, in the north of Afghanistan on 11 March. The explosion of a parcel bomb in the venue of a ceremony to mark Afghan Journalists Day also claimed the life of a security guard and left dozens injured.
I condemn the murder of Sayed Hussain Naderi and Akmal Tabian. Terrorist violence targeting journalists must not be allowed to defeat the resilience of brave Afghan reporters committed to informing society and nurturing debate. I call for an independent investigation to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack that killed Naderi, a reporter for the independent AVA news agency, and his assistant, journalism student Akmal Tabian. Both died from their injuries the day after the attack.
UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and by coordinating the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
In recent months, UNESCO has been partnering with Afghan civil society organizations and local journalist unions to train an estimated 600 journalists on physical and digital safety, as well as conflict-sensitive reporting. UNESCO is also providing support to Afghan media outlets in the production of conflict-sensitive, humanitarian, health and educational public interest content.