"Black Wednesday" for media after Taliban attack on Tolo TV staffers in Afghanistan
Jan 25, Kabul: On 21st of January, the Afghanistan Journalists' Federation declared 20 January 2016 as "Black Wednesday" following a Taliban suicide attack that killed seven media persons and injured dozens more, adding the attack would change media's relations with the Taliban.
Seven staff members of Tolo TV and some of their defenseless fellow compatriots were killed and over 30 others were injured. In a statement, the federation of journalists, which constitutes the journalists' unions including the Afghanistan Journalists Center, strongly denounced the attack and declared the following in response to the terrorist attack in Kabul:
1. The Afghanistan Journalists' Federation and Afghanistan media condemn in the strongest possible terms the brutal attack on Tolo TV employees. They named the day of the attack as "Black Wednesday" in the history of Afghanistan media.
2. By organizing and conducting this brutal and criminal attack, the Taliban terrorist group proved that they have no respect for or commitment to any values of humanity, human rights, and free media activities. Their crime shows the terroristic nature of this regressive group.
3. The Afghanistan Journalists' Federation and Afghanistan media will respond in various dimensions and with various steps to this unforgivable crime by the Taliban terrorist group and will share their important decisions with the people.
4. This grand and unprecedented crime will change the relationship of the media with the Taliban terrorist group. The terrorist Taliban will pay a dear price for their unforgivable action. From now on, Afghanistan media will impose serious changes in its news coverage policy towards the terrorist Taliban.
5. The Afghanistan Journalists' Federation and Afghanistan media seriously demand from the leadership of the National Unity Government to immediately identify and bring to justice those elements of terrorist groups who operate from within the political system, spread propaganda and plot terrorist activities. Members of the federation support the State's decisive action against terrorist groups.
6. We call upon all foreign and domestic media which operate in Afghanistan to strictly regard the country's laws, particularly the articles on "Prohibition of Promoting Terrorism and Propaganda". We call upon the government to take serious measures to ensure the implementation of the law and prosecute the violators.
7. The Afghanistan Journalists' Federation and Afghanistan media will immediately start coordinating practical efforts with the government and media owners to protect the lives of the employees of media entities.
8. We demand that media owners provide work compensation to the journalists and media personnel, particularly those who lose their lives or are injured in the line of duty, in accordance with the "Regulation on the Establishment and Operation of Privately Owned Mass Media".
9. Those media that refuse to follow the articles of this statement declared by the Afghanistan Journalists' Federation will lose the federation's support.
10. We call once more upon the government to fire and prosecute those Kabul security officials who have neglected their duties in preventing this terrorist attack.
The Oslo Times/IFEX