TV anchor stabbed to death outside his Kabul home

New York, September 7, 2010–A well-known TV anchor was found stabbed to death outside his home in Kabul on Sunday, according to international news reports. Sayed Hamid Noori worked for the state network Radio Television Afghanistan and was active in the National Union of Afghan Journalists. In 2004, he served as the spokesman for an opponent of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and remained allied with political opposition groups.

The BBC and Agence France-Presse reported that police said Noori received a phone call late on Sunday that prompted him to leave his apartment. Karzai has reportedly ordered the Interior Ministry, which oversees the country’s police forces, to manage the investigation of the case. The motive for the killing is not clear. CPJ will continue to investigate to determine whether his stabbing was related to his work as a journalist.

“We call on President Karzai to ensure that a thorough investigation into the murder of Sayed Hamid Noori is carried out,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator. “The extremely high level of impunity in the cases of killed journalists must not continue and Noori’s killers must be brought to justice.”

Afghanistan ranks 6th worst on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which tracks where journalists are slain and killers go free.

Noori, 45, had allied himself with former presidential candidate Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, Karzai’s main rival in the October 2004 elections.