Journalists want justice over claims by spy boss


A number journalists’ rights organizations on Tuesday wanted legal action to be taken against former spy chief Amrullah Saleh for claiming on his Facebook page that the Pajhwok News Agency, an online media organization in Afghanistan, was working for the government and being paid for it.

“If Mr. Saleh does not present documentary proof of his allegation within the next week, we will officially respond to him at a press conference,” said Ahmad Quraishi, a member of Afghanistan’s Journalists Federation.

“The two sides should sit and talk and assess the claim by Amrullah Saleh. If it has legal merit, it will be referred to judicial organizations,” said Mujib Khalwatgar, head Nai, an organization which supports open media in Afghanistan.

Saleh said in response to the organizations that he will not go back on his claim until the issue had been fully assessed.

In his comment on the issue, Danish Karokhail, editor in chief of Pajhwok News Agency, said it was “the right of Mr. Saleh to bring the documented proof of his claim to the media or to Pajhwok directly.”

Reporters from the news agency said they have faced difficulties after the allegations against the media outlet.

“We travel in fear. Militants have threatened our organization,” said a Pajhwok reporter.

Amrullah Saleh refused to talk about the matter. However, he said some of the issues were addressed on his social media pages.

Pajhwok reporters said during the decade of their activities they have lost three of their collages and tens of others have faced threats.

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