Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hanif Elham another targeted media activist in Afghanistan

Hanif Elham,

• Editor, writer producer for ATN ( Ariana Television Network)
• Producer/ director for the show Booye Maah ( literary and cultural program on ATN)
• Broadcast Journalist for Ariana FM 93.5 MHZ (Kabul)
• Writer, researcher and adviser for Deedenow Cinema Production Afghansitan
• Editor in chief for the website of and a member of board of Directors of Academy of Art and Cinematic Education

Since the number of battles and suicide attacks have been increasing day by day as a result of the Taliban’s re-empowerment, life is getting more difficult for the Afghans, especially the intellectuals and the media activists.

Reports show the year 2007 has been the worst year for the security situation since the establishment of the interim government of Afghanistan.

Recently, while I have been in exile I heard that Hanif Elham a colleague of mine in ATN, Deedenow Cinema , and the Academy of Art has been threatened to death by the Taliban. Mr. Elham is a broadcast journalists who has been working day and night in Afghanistan for freedom of speech, human rights, and democracy.

Mr. Elham has been threatened and intimidated because of his popular radio program on Ariana Radio, “Imroz dar Tarikh” or in “Today in History” that presents news stories of what had occurred on the same date in previous years.

As a result of more than two years’ hard work and research, Mr. Elham has been able to collect reports that detail the destruction and killings perpetrated by the Taliban during the five years of their rule. They describe their cruelty, massacres, and hidden relationships with the other countries like Pakistan.

Mr. Elham interviewed eye-witnesses, and collected personal diaries, and newspaper clippings. He has been able to write what the Taliban did on every single day of their reign.

This remarkable effort for democracy and justice made his program unique and popular.
After a few months, in almost every house where Radio Ariana had coverage, people listened to this program each morning from 6:30 to 7:00.

As a voice for victims of human rights violations, Mr. Elham received many thoughtful and appreciative letters and calls. The program’s popularity alarmed the Taliban. They did not tolerate a voice revealing the truth about them, so they called him and threaten him with death. Mr. Elham continued, so they sent him warning letters. Mr. Elham has ignored the threats and continues his work for an unknown period of time, even though he knows it is not safe for him and his family.

Hanif Elham is sure that there is always need of sacrifice, to nourish the tree of democracy and justice in a post-conflict country like Afghanistan. Now it is our responsibility as media activists to become a voice for him and support his continuing work, which is the will of the majority.

Let us all become a strong voice that speaks about his situation to the people of the world. Let us all once again take an oath not only for Hanif Elham but everyone who stands for democracy, and does the brave work of bringing the rule of law to a country where there has been none for decades.

Undoubtedly, one of the ways to stop this intimidation, which has become a new strategy for the Taliban and the extremists of Afghanistan, is to form a strong network worldwide. It is important to reach out to the world and ask the International Community to find ways for safety and protection of journalists and media workers not only in Afghanistan but all over the world.

Let us all become one voice, condemn these threats and intimidation. Let us pray for the safety of Hanif Elham. Let us reveal the work of the Taliban and extremists around the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.