Journalist’s suspected murderers released from prison in north-east of Afghanistan

Sep 14, 2013

Mahmood Raghi: The provincial court of Kapisa, rejected the primary court 16 years in jails verdict for the two suspected murderer of Mohammad Mohsen Hashemi, a local journalist and ordered to release them.

However, attorney while called the verdict did not deliver justice and said they will appeal to the Supreme Court.

On August 13, Mawlavi Mohmmad Asef, 38 and Waism 28, brothers of the Mohsen were convicted to 16 years in jail and father and his another brother were acquitted due to lack of evidences.

The Provincial inspector attorney Habib faizi, told  to Afghanistan Journalists Centre (AFJC), that  the provincial court has said due to no evidences, the accused recognized innocent and were released.

"We have prosecuted the accused. They had made a life attempt at Mohsen and continued their hostility against him and asked the court a death penalty for all."

Faiz said, an appeal against the "unjust" verdicts will be filed with the Supreme Court.

Mohsen Hashemi 30 had worked as a Technician Manager of Voice of Najrab local radio. He was also a presenter of "Murwareed-i-Honar", a literary program and "Roydadhaye Hafte" a social and political program at the radio for four years.

His body which was shut in his head and had serious injury in the neck, found after 18 days missing from a well in Parayat village of the district in May 20.

The journalist's family members denied their involvement in the murder and called for a revision of the verdict. However, Mohsen Hashemi's wife had said that the verdict was unjust and warned against the possible release of the accused.

"My husband's father and three brothers were constantly arguing with my husband over various issues, such as temporary work at a French military base in the district; in particular, he was harassed and criticized for his social and political programs on the radio station, but Mohsen was constantly resisting them," she said.

"I have raised my voice against the verdict. They all should have been sentenced to death or life imprisonment. I am currently living with my one-year-old daughter at my father's residence and afraid of their possible release via the interference of a corrupt official and I fear more threats from them toward me and my child," Mohsen Hashemi's wife added.

Abdul Motaleb Hamed, Head of Voice of Najrab private local radio also raises similar concerns but hopes to see the appealing Supreme Court issue an appropriate verdict.

18 journalists, including 12 Afghan journalists have been murdered in Afghanistan since 2001, but authorities have shown no progress in pursuing suspects in 15 of them.

The planned 2014 NATO withdrawal has raised new concerns about the situation of media freedom and safety of journalists.