Taliban fighters trying to track down western-affiliated journalists allegedly shot dead a family member of an editor working for Deutsche Welle and seriously injured another, the German public broadcaster has said.
The state-owned broadcaster said the Taliban had carried out house-to-house searches in western Afghanistan to try to find the journalist, who had already relocated to Germany.
Other family members managed to escape at the last minute and were on the run, a Deutsche Welle spokesperson said.
The broadcaster’s director general, Peter Limbourg, called on the German government to do more to help Afghans who worked with western media in the country.
“The killing of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban yesterday is inconceivably tragic, and testifies to the acute danger in which all our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves,” Limbourg said.
“It is evident that the Taliban are already carrying out organised searches for journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces. We are running out of time.”
The reported reprisals against journalists with links to western news outlets undermine Taliban claims they would not seek retaliation against perceived dissidents, and runs counter to the media-friendly image the military group have sought to create by allowing some of its representatives to be interviewed by female presenters for television channels.
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Philip Oltermann