Taliban menace journalists after shooting

Oct. 19, 2012 at 9:29 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The Taliban in Pakistan have threatened journalists because of the coverage of the shooting of a teenage activist who stood up to them, reporters said.

Coverage of the shooting of Malala Yousufzai, 15, and the negative worldwide reaction led Taliban leaders to complain the "filthy, godless media" was taking advantage of events, CNN reported.

In statements issued to justify the shooting of Yousufzai, who insists on the right of girls to go to school, Taliban leaders complained the media have taken "huge advantage of this situation and journalists have started passing judgment on us."

Reporters in northwestern Pakistan told CNN they were warned by authorities about an increased risk to their security. Some said they were told they were targeted.

"Things after Malala have become more tense, as the Taliban [are] very angry with the way the attack was reported," a journalist in Peshawar said. "We are scared, but what can we do? We have to work."

The teen, who was flown to Britain Monday, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. Dave Rosser, the director of University Hospitals Birmingham National Health Service foundation trust, said Yousufzai is able to stand with help and is writing coherently but can't talk because of a tracheotomy, The Guardian reported. She also is suffering from an infection from the bullet that grazed her brain.

Rosser told CNN there "is certainly physical damage to the brain," but the girl appears to be functioning well intellectually. She was brought out of a medically induced coma Tuesday, The Guardian said, and asked, "Which country am I in?"

Rosser said doctors have not yet talked to her about the shooting but she does have memories of it.

"From a lot of work we have done with our military casualties, we know that reminding people of traumatic events at this stage increases the potential for psychological problems later, so we wouldn't do that," Rosser said.

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