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Suspect arrested in murder of young female TV presenter; RSF calls for thorough investigation

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has urged Afghan police to leave no stone unturned in investigating the 31 May 2007 murder of a popular young TV presenter, Shakiba Sanga Amaj, who worked for Pashtu-language channel Shamshad TV.

A man opened fire on the 22-year-old at point blank range at her family home in Kabul and two days later police arrested a suspect, Abdul Latif, from Ghazni in central Afghanistan, who had reportedly been hired to punish her for refusing to marry.

"Even if a family feud appears to be behind this cowardly killing, the authorities should not overlook the profession and renown of the young presenter," the worldwide press freedom organisation said, offering its condolences to the journalist's family and colleagues.

Her father, Mohammad Rabi Amaj, told the Pajwok news agency that he believed family members had paid Latif to kill his daughter. "Latif is a hired killer and a deviant. I pray to God that no other women are destroyed as Sanga was," he said.

The Pakistan-educated Shakiba Sanga Amaj was a well-liked presenter on the programme "Da Gudar Ghara" on Shamshad TV, headed by Wahid Nazari. She also worked as a reporter.

The case has echoes of that of Shaima Rezaee, a young presenter on privately-owned Tolo TV, murdered in Kabul in May 2005. Police have never cleared up the exact circumstances of the killing, which some people claimed was suicide (see IFEX alert of 24 May 2005).

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