Posted by: bahareiran | January 23, 2011

Afghan Journalist Hospitalized After Acid Attack

Abdul Razaq Mamoon during a call-in-show in Radio Free Afghanistan’s Kabul Bureau on January 15, by RFE/RL

Afghan journalist and author Abdul Razaq Mamoon is being treated in a Kabul hospital after a masked man sprayed acid on his face and hands.

The incident took place on January 18 when Mamoon was returning home. The journalist, a former RFE/RL correspondent, says he was wearing glasses at the time of the attack, which saved his eyes from critical injury. 

The 46-year-old native of northern Panj Shir, who is known for his controversial political views, believes the attack was in retaliation for his latest book, which is critical of Tehran’s policies toward Afghanistan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he was “saddened by the [cowardly] attack” and called Mamoon, offering to send him abroad for medical treatment.

‘Very Unhappy And Angry’

In “Footprint Of Pharaoh,” Mamoon accuses neighboring Iran of seeking the disintegration of Afghanistan. The book also claims Iran was involved in the assassination of Ahmad Shah Masud, the commander of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance and a legendary figure among the country’s ethnic Tajiks.

“After the book was published, it seemed some people and some circles were very unhappy and angry about it. These people have close ties with Iran,” Mamoon told RFE/RL from his hospital bed today.

“The Iranian Embassy invited the publisher of my book…to the embassy to answer their questions. He responded that Mamoon is himself the writer and publisher of his book and that the embassy should contact [me] directly. After that, some Afghans who are spying for Iran were signaling to me and sending messages to me to stop the distribution of the book.”

In a recent interview with RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan, Mamoon harshly criticized Iranian authorities for pressuring Afghanistan.

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