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Journalist stabbed to death in Kabul

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders urges the Afghan authorities to deploy all the resources that are necessary to identify, arrest and try those responsible for the murder of former TV presenter Sayed Hamid Noori, who was stabbed to death near his home in Kabul on 6 September 2010.

"While the motives are not yet known, it is important that the investigators should not rule out the possibility that this murder was linked to the victim's work as a journalist," Reporters Without Borders said. "Although he had resigned as a state TV presenter, he continued to be a politically committed journalist and was an active member of the National Union of Afghan Journalists. We offer our condolences to his family and friends."

Information minister Makhdoom Raheen told Reporters Without Borders: "He was one of the best Afghan journalists and a servant of free expression. I immediately made a statement about his tragic death and contacted the interior minister, who promised me a full and thorough investigation. As regards the motives, we are awaiting the results of the police enquiry, but it is not clear that it was politically motivated."

According to relatives and the police, Noori received a call on his mobile phone from someone he clearly knew and then left his apartment with the apparent aim of going to meet that person. His body was later found nearby. He had been stabbed and his throat had been cut.

Noori was a well-known TV anchor who went into politics and became the spokesman of Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, an opponent of President Hamid Karzai.

National Union of Afghan Journalists president Abdul Hamid Moubarez said: "I had known him for years. He was a man of letters, a poet and a great defender of free speech. We are not aware that he had any personal enemies, but we must not forget that Afghan journalists sometimes pay dearly for their commitment to press freedom."
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