Director-General urges investigation into killing of television journalist Mina Khairi in Afghanistan

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has condemned the murder of journalist Mina Khairi in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 3 June, in an attack which also claimed the lives of her mother, sister and two other passengers in the public minivan in which she was traveling.

I condemn the murder of Mina Khairi and of the other innocent people who were with her. I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and examine the extent to which the journalist’s profession and gender may have motivated her killers, who must be brought to justice. All too many women journalists around the world are having to endure threats, harassment and violence in the exercise of their profession. People’s inalienable right to free expression needs to be upheld, regardless of their gender, as do press freedom and the right to access information.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

Khairi, a news presenter for Ariana Television Network, died in an explosion caused by a bomb that was attached to the minivan she was riding in to get home from food shopping. The victim’s mother as well as two other passengers were also immediately killed by the blast. The victim’s sister was fatally wounded and passed away in the hospital days later. Several others were also wounded.

Khairi is the fifth Afghan women journalists whose killing has been registered by UNESCO over the past year.

UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

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