Family member of German journalist DW killed by Taliban


The head office of German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) is pictured in Bonn, Germany in September 2016.
The headquarters of German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) is pictured in Bonn, Germany in September 2016. Marius Becker / dpa / AFP / Getty Images

The Taliban killed a family member of a Deutsche Welle journalist, German international television station said.

In an article published Thursday, DW said Taliban fighters were looking for one of their journalists in Afghanistan and confirmed that a relative of the journalist was shot dead by the Taliban on Wednesday along with another seriously injured. Other relatives were able to escape at the last minute and are on the run, according to the DW article.

“The murder of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban yesterday is incredibly tragic and speaks to the acute danger in which all of our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves,” said DW CEO. Peter Limbourg in the article.
“It is obvious that the Taliban are already carrying out an organized search for journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces. We are run out of time ! Limburg added.

The article adds that the homes of at least three DW journalists were raided by the Taliban.

DW press spokesman Christoph Jumpelt told CNN in a written statement that “at this point we are not making individual statements regarding the tragic event involving the relatives of one of our reporters. “.

On Sunday – the day Kabul fell to the Taliban – DW and other major German media urged the German government to help evacuate their Afghan personnel to Germany.

In an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, major German newspapers as well as public and commercial broadcasters, including DW and the DPA news agency, called for a swift evacuation of their Afghan journalists whose life was in danger. They also called for an emergency visa program to allow their employees to emigrate to Germany.

The signatories of the letter warned that “the lives of these self-employed workers are now in grave danger”.

Even life in Kabul has become extremely risky for employees of international media organizations. Following the withdrawal of international troops, including German troops, there is growing concern that the Taliban will take revenge on our employees, ”the letter said.

The letter adds that dozens of journalists have been murdered in recent years, by the Taliban, by “Islamic State” or by strangers – and that the government has hardly ever identified the perpetrators.

“There is concern that such killings will now increase dramatically – and many of our employees are in danger. Employees who wish to leave the country face persecution, arrest, torture and death. We therefore ask you to act quickly, ”he added. the signatories of the letter pleaded.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan “bitter, dramatic and terrible” and stressed the importance of evacuating as many Afghans as possible, who have supported military efforts and German civilians in the country.

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