President Karzai’s leading Western sponsors – the U.S., UK and Canadian governments – continue to turn a blind eye to last Tuesday’s violent raid by armed police of Tolo TV, Afghanistan’s most popular source of independent news.
This tacit approval has encouraged the man who ordered the raid, rogue Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabet, to organize rallies of government employees to press for the station’s closure.
On Saturday, athletes from Afghanistan's disabled Olympic team blocked the path of hundreds of pro-Sabet marchers as they made their way to Tolo's studios. From his wheelchair, paralympic team chief Haji Abdul Rahman told Reuters: "It's good TV. All the time they defend the rights of the people."
The spectacle of disabled Olympians taking to the street to defend freedom of speech is in stark contrast to the indifference displayed by the self-proclaimed champions of democracy in the West. Neither President Bush nor British Prime Minister Tony Blair have released statements regarding Sabet’s violent crackdown, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper chose the occasion to ridicule his own media critics in Canada.
For more, please see skyreporter’s feature article, CANADA HELPS KARZAI COVER UP TV RAID.