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ZAKIA ZAKI, AFGHAN WOMAN OWNER OF PEACE RADIO, GUNNED DOWN; SECOND AFGHAN WOMAN JOURNALIST MURDERED IN FIVE DAYS

Zakia Zaki with Afghan women journalists

 Zakia Zaki, a prominent female Afghan journalist has been gunned down inside her home near Kabul, the second such slaying in five days. Unidentified gunmen fired seven bullets into Zakia Zaki, head of a local radio station, [in the presence of her eight-year-old] old son last night. She died instantly.The shooting occurred in Parwan, a normally peaceful district north of Kabul that includes the giant American airbase at Bagram. It is not normally associated with Taliban activity.The interior ministry condemned the “act of terror” and police said they had detained four men in connection with the case today.

Zakia Zaki

Zaki, 35, had run the US-funded station Peace Radio since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. She was also headmistress of a local school and ran for parliament in 2005.She recently received warnings from powerful local commanders to tone down her reporting, according to the Afghan Independent Journalists Association. “This is a very bad day for female journalists. Our work is becoming increasingly dangerous,” said Farida Nekzad of Pajhwok, an Afghan news agency, after returning from Zaki’s funeral today.The killing underlines the lawlessness that plagues even the most stable parts of Afghanistan and highlights the risks faced by young local reporters, particularly women. Conservative Afghans dislike women’s participation in the burgeoning media sector and those who ignore warnings from hostile male relatives have been killed.On Friday Sanga Amach, a 22-year-old news presenter with a private television, was murdered at her Kabul home. A western security official in Kabul said it appeared to have been an honour killing. 

Read at Global Sisterhood Network

KABUL – Unidentified gunmen shot dead an Afghan woman journalist, the second such killing in less than a week, officials said on Wednesday.

Zakia Zaki, who also served as headmistress of a school, ran a private radio station partially funded by a Western media group.

The 35-year-old married woman was killed at her house in Parwan province, north of the capital Kabul late on Tuesday.

Zaki was threatened recently by some factional commanders in her area to shut down the station or face death, the head of Afghanistan’s Independent Journalist Association said.

“She believed in freedom of expression, that’s why she was killed,” Rahimullah Samander told Reuters.

Authorities said an investigation had been launched.

Her killing follows the murder of Sanga Amach, a news presenter for a private television station, at her home in Kabul last Friday.

Authorities say they have arrested some suspects in connection with Amach’s murder. She had also been ordered by unidentified people to stop her work.

Read the rest at Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan

Reporters Without Borders has also reported that a fundamentalist group has threatened to behead women journalists not wearing veil on public TV.

Someone needs to immediately act to ensure the safety of Malalai Joya.

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