Journalists are Killed in Times of War

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A major controversy arose only a few weeks ago after details of an Afghan journalist's death surface.

BBC reporter, Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, was originally believed to be killed by insurgents in suicide attacks that had taken place July 28; nevertheless, recent discoveries have uncovered that Khpulwak was killed by an American soldier who had mistaken Khpulwak for a suicide bomber in the seemingly complex attacks that took place.

The foremost problem, however, is not that this journalist was killed in moments of war, but that the details of his death were not made known until after Khpulwak's family pressured for an investigation.

In an article published by the New York Times, details about the investigation report were provided.

The report stated that the soldier who killed Khpulwak believed that he had fired on American soldiers and was attempting to detonate a suicide vest when the soldier killed him. However, Khpulwak's brother states later in the article that he was skeptical of NATO's report since Khpulwak spoke sufficient English and would have simply been showing his press card to the soldiers.

Ther have been 19 other journalists killed in Afghanistan since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, according to the aformentioned article.

My question is, however, why this investigation seemed to have been swept under the rug. It took the family of the deceased to initially pressure the BBC to do something before the ball got rolling.

It would appear to me that it would be a present concern of those individuals who love to claim freedom, that if there is a suspicious death of an individual who is willing to ask difficult questions of those in power--such as a reporter--that those individuals would make it a point to seek out the truth.

This investigation should not have waited until September to turn-up results when Khpulwak was killed in July. If this is going to be the results of a journalist's death, fellow journalists need to make an outcry of anger, and soon.


tyler.crandell September 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM  

This makes you think what really goes on over there. It seems so easy for a story to just be made up. The only part of the story we hear is the part the military wants us to hear. Journalists don't seem to be too well taken care of like in Khpulwak's case. If the family would not have started the investigation, I don't think anyone would have. It seems like the story was trying to be forgotten.

vanvolkinburg September 27, 2011 at 8:15 PM  

I think what frustrated me the most about reading this story was that it took nearly two months for an investigation to even be put into motion. I completely understand that reporting in highly active war zones guarantees a sense of insecurity in living; however, the soldier should have simply come forth with the information after Khpulwak's death. I am not so naive to believe that this instance would have been the very first thing the soldier would have thought to report. Even still, two months is ridiculous.

I agree with you Tyler that it does seem so easy for a story to be made up in instances like this, especially when it comes to the military and what they feel is a breach of security. However, like you mentioned at the end, it just appeared that they acted as though if they ignored the situation it would go away.

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