CALGARY, April 17 /CNW/ - Skyreporter.com Reveals Canada's Connection to
Kabul Crisis. Five weeks after journalist Arthur Kent launched an
investigative series of film reports on his new website, www.skyreporter.com,
the shadowy figure at the centre of the anti-narcotics policing scandal at
Kabul Airport, Afghanistan's Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabet, has launched
an unprecedented crackdown on the country's burgeoning news media.
Tuesday evening in Kabul, Sabet led a squad of police into the studios
and offices of Tolo-TV, Afghanistan's leading private broadcaster and an
important source of news for Afghans angered by years of corruption and
ineptitude in the Western-sponsored government of Hamid Karzai. Several
reporters and editors were reportedly physically abused by Sabet's men. Three
journalists were arrested. Sources indicate that the raid and arrests took
place without proper warrants.
Since early March, Arthur Kent has forwarded questions to the office of
Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Mackay regarding Sabet's status in Canada.
Sabet gained entry during the Taliban era and settled in Montreal - despite
his past connections with anti-Western extremist groups in Afghanistan, and
having had an earlier application to enter the U.S. denied by American
immigration authorities. Sabet returned to Kabul in 2003, and was nominated by
Hamid Karzai last August as Attorney General.
Says Kent: "From Foreign Affairs, from Citizenship and Immigration
Canada, and from the Prime Minister's office, the silence has been deafening.
The last thing the Harper government seems to want to talk about is Abdul
Jabar Sabet, of Montreal and Kabul.
"But now, with a media crackdown underway in Kabul, another question
looms large: is this the kind of Afghan lawman and government that Canadian
troops are fighting and dying for?"
The raid was launched shortly after Tolo TV's evening newscast had
featured a recording of Sabet's statements earlier in the day to the Afghan
Parliament. Sabet claims his speech was misrepresented.
Kent's skyreporter website includes a film profile of Tolo TV, and a
separate tribute to all Afghan journalists. Says Kent: "Afghanistan's vibrant
and assertive new news media has been under increasing pressure by the Karzai
government. But the spectre of paramilitary repression is unprecedented - at
least for the current regime.
"It was the Taliban government that practiced draconian information
control, branding television cameras 'instruments of Satan.' Now Sabet, along
with President Karzai's information minister, apparently want to turn back the
clock on freedom of speech."
Skyreporter.com is an independent website, managed exclusively by Arthur
Kent, and features the latest technology for exhibiting video reports online.
It was launched March 5th, 2007.
For further information:
For further information: Adriana Salvia, (416) 274-8711,
Adriana@mondouxsalvia.com; or Jennifer Mondoux, (416) 530-1173,