In Afghanistan, second female journalist killed in a week

New York, June 6, 2007-The Committee to Protect Journalists is horrified by the murder in her home of radio station director Zakia Zaki in Afghanistan’s Parwan province, north of the capital Kabul. Unidentified gunmen shot her several times near midnight this morning in the bedroom she was sharing with her small children, according to international news reports.

CPJ is investigating to determine the motives for her murder, the second killing of a female broadcast journalist in less than a week. On Friday, television news presenter Shokiba Sanga Amaaj was murdered in her Kabul home.

“We are outraged at this brutal killing of a brave and respected journalist, and urge Afghan authorities to bring Zakia Zaki’s killers to justice,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “This murder, which follows so closely on the heels of the killing of Shokiba Sanga Amaaj, highlights the double hazard of being a woman and being a journalist in Afghanistan.”

Zaki, 35, had run Radio Peace, a private news radio station, since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. She had been critical of local warlords, who recently warned her to shut down the station, Rahimullah Samander, head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association, told international reporters.

She was also a teacher and was involved in drafting Afghanistan’s 2003 constitution. Authorities condemned the murder and promised an investigation.

Meanwhile, authorities in Kabul have arrested several suspects in the May 31 killing of Amaaj, a 22-year-old news presenter for Shamshad TV. The suspects were male relatives, according to international news reports. The motive in that killing is unclear.

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. For more information, visit