The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and the Voice of America (VOA) condemn the senseless attack on the home of VOA’s Deewa Radio journalist Rahman Bunairee in Bunir, Pakistan on July 8.
“The attack unnecessarily endangered Bunairee’s innocent family, and caused them great loss,” said VOA Director Danforth Austin. “Bunairee is a brave journalist who, like other VOA stringers, is committed to carrying out VOA’s mission to provide independent news and information to Pakistan and the rest of the world.”
Bunairee’s house in Bunir was blown up in an explosion after masked men entered the structure and ordered his family to leave. The attackers destroyed a computer, boxes and valuables before blowing up and burning down the house. The intruders claimed they were ordered to destroy the house because Bunairee works for Deewa Radio, the popular VOA service that broadcasts in Pashto to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.
“Three generations of the Bunairee family are without a home because violent forces in Pakistan are threatened by the truth,” said Steven J. Simmons of the Broadcasting Board of Governors which oversees the U.S. international broadcasting including the Voice of America. “We will continue to report the news, accurately and independently, for as long as press freedom is threatened in Pakistan and elsewhere.”
VOA’s Deewa Radio strives for a two-way communication with its audience. Its staff of 16 fields more than 300 calls a day during their scheduled programs. The shows combine global news and reports from more than 20 stringers in the target region with a good dose of music to attract young audiences. Programs are available on shortwave and, in some places, on FM as well as on the Internet.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to promote freedom and democracy and to enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti). BBG broadcasts reach over 175 million people worldwide on a weekly basis.