Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism

Young Afghan journalist tortured, killed in Helmand province

29 January 2014
A Afghan National Army soldier overlooks a valley in eastern Afghanistan. Afghanistan has seen a very active start to its fighting season in 2013. Photo Credit: Sebastiano Tomada/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images

The mutilated body of an Afghan journalist was discovered in the capital of the country’s Helmand province on Thursday, according to the British newspaper, the Guardian.

The body of Noori Ahmed Noori, a local radio reporter who had previously worked for The New York Times, was found in a plastic bag in a car salesman’s yard.

Noori was likely tortured before his death, and was stabbed and strangled, the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders reported on its website.

Noori had been working on a weekly religious radio segment for the country’s Radio Bost, at the time he was killed, according to the group. In the past Noori, 29, had worked for The New York Times until last year, according to their website. The New York Times also stated that Noori had been missing for nine hours after being abducted by armed men earlier on Thursday.

“When we found the body around 7 pm yesterday, we thought there was a bomb inside the bag. We asked our engineers to check, but when they opened the bag it was the body of a journalist,” Abdul Ahad Choopan, spokesman for the provincial police chief said, according to United Press International.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the murder. While many suspect Taliban involvement, it is unclear whether it may have been a criminal or a personal matter, according to The New York Times.

“He had not been threatened, or at least not recently. He was a decent person and his programs caused no problem. His voice was known to everyone in the province,” Radio Bost manager Abdul Salam Zahid said in an interview with Reporters Without Borders.

Helmand’s capital Lashkar Gah has seen heavy violence in recent years amidst Afghanistan’s ongoing civil war. Noori is the second journalist to be killed since 2008, according to the Guardian.

By Victoria Ross

Monitoring press freedom and international affairs from Mid-Missouri Public Radio and the Missouri School of Journalism.
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