Apr 28, 2007

No home, No food & No Sympathy


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Apr 21, 2007

Press Freedom Under Pressure

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Just a few days ago Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabit ordered the police to arrest a reporter from Tolo TV in Kabul. Sabit told media that he had been misquoted in news about hanging a number of convicts.

The police entered the Tolo TV office where they beated and arrested the three reporters. It was broadcasted live, by and from Tolo TV. The police who were ordered to arrest the journalist, had no official letter or arrest warrant, and were behaving as if they were arresting terrorists and looters.
Since last year, Sabit, a white-bearded man with a kind of embarrassed figure appeared to fight against alcohol and prostitution. Soon, he became famous when he launched a few funny tasks in the name of a revolution against corruption. For a period he was praised in the media, but he was never trusted. He has a dark background of being a member and supporter of Hezb-e-Islami Hekmatiar, a blacklisted terrorist party.

I believe that Abdul Jabar Sabit after his unsuccessful task against corruption became hopeless and nervous. He wanted to become another Afghan national hero like Ahmad Shah Masoud but he couldn’t.
Abdul Jabar Sabit has a faked face in Karzai’s government, in reality he is seen as a drug trafficker. According to General Aminullah Omarkhil, the previous chief of security and customs at Kabul International Airport, Sabit is involved in drugs and smuggling.
Some months ago, when I was working with Okke Ornstein, we interviewed General Omar Khail. He told us he was dismissed from his job after he fired a deputy who was involved in drug trafficking, but who also was a family member of Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabit.

In Afghanistan, it’s very common that officials use their power and don’t have first or second considerations for law. Just a few weeks ago one of the legislator’s bodyguards beated up the traffic police because they didn’t give priority to the MP’s car to pass the road.
This is a serious warning for press freedom when the threats and assaults come to physical abuse of journalists by government and military officials.
More than 100 journalists gathered last Wednesday in front of the Parliament to condemn this action by Attorney General Sabit and called the government for his dismissal.

Apr 14, 2007

Abandoning Anonymity

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Hereafter I decide to write by using my real name. I have already told in my Farsi blog http://kabuli.org/ where I introduced myself completely. This is not a sudden decision. For the last few months I was thinking what I should do; should I stop blogging or continue using my real name? I was receiving death threats on my pseudonym Sohrab Kabuli, used illegally in many websites by someone who used my name in articles which were not mine.

One of the controversies was an offensive against Ahmad Shah Masoud who is known as a national hero in Afghanistan. The article was published at an Afghan-German website based in Germany. After questioning and asking many times my name was removed from the article. I asked them to the reason why my name was used in the article, but they refused to give me a reasonable answer. And again I’ve seen my name being used in a similar situation along with an article supporting the Taliban.

I found no option BUT appearing into the open and write hereafter with my real name: Nasim Fekrat. After this I will take responsibility of my own stuff in both my blogs; English and Farsi. I hope to do more with this freedom of expression experiment which I can’t practice using my pen name. I would have liked to keep writing using a pseudonym but it has impossible for me. I’m sure there is no enemy, but friends, let’s shake hands and laugh at the world and let’s whisper our heartbeats to each other. We are so close, and we only need to smile at each other. Let’s smile and love the freedom, let’s put light in the darkness. I love you all; we can only make the world nice with love and smiles, nothing else to it.

Nasim Fekrat will be writing to you from Kabul, I onlined my Podcast here, so you can listen now. I really like to make interviews with international soldiers in Afghanistan, let me know if you can link me with yours.

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