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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Husband reveals threats to Afghan journalist
Zakia Zaki and her son Ahmad
Zakia Zaki was one of Afghanistan's most active campaigners

The husband of the murdered Afghan journalist Zakia Zaki has said his wife received death threats in the week before her shooting, but she did not tell him about them in order not to alarm him.

Zakia Zaki was shot in her bed in the early hours of 6 June at her house near the capital, Kabul. Two of her sons, a seven-year-old and a baby, were in the room at the time but survived.

Several suspects have been detained by the authorities since her murder, just days after a TV news presenter was also killed at her home in Kabul.

Zakia Zaki's husband Abdul Ahad Ranjbar told the BBC's Outlook programme that, while his wife "had not told me anything about being threatened this week, but she had said something about being threatened to her sister, Nazifa Zaki, a military general."

"Nazifa said there was a threat, but they did not tell me before because they didn't want me to be worried about it," he added.

"I am still not fully certain about the nature of the threat, and Nazifa told me that they are going to explain and talk about it more when the funeral services are finished."


Zakia Zaki owned a private radio station in Parvan province, and was one of the few female journalists in the country to speak out during the Taleban's rule.

The director of anti-terrorism operations in the country, Abdul Manan Farahi, has said the suspects arrested so far are suspected of links to Hezb-e Islami, a guerrilla group headed by veteran warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Elderly man walks past the grave of Zakia Zaki
Zakia Zaki's death has shaken many in Parvan province
Mr Ranjbar recalled that he was called at 1230 at night by his son, who said to him "dad, come back home, because mum has been killed."

He said he returned to find his wife had been shot in her face and her chest "in a really shocking way."

Zakia Zaki had been at home with the children - four sons and two daughters - on her own.

The seven-year-old has said he only heard the shots, and did not know at first what had happened.

"He says his older brother then opened the door and turned on the light, and he saw his mum covered in blood," Mr Ranjbar added.

But he added that he had been worried about her safety simply because of the nature of her work, as she was a political, cultural and social figure in the country, an MP and human rights campaigner.

"She always faced challenges, and problems from different groups," he said.

"For example, they were trying to close down the radio four months ago. The same people are still free, and no-one touches them."

But he said his wife had never felt she should cave in to the attitude of her opposition, and was "never afraid" of threats.

"Because I was more conservative than her, she sometimes did not talk about the threats with me," he added.

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