World

Kathy Gannon says Afghan gunman who shot her should be spared death penalty

Kathy Gannon, a Canadian who has served as a longtime journalist for The Associated Press, says she doesn't want the Afghan gunman who severely wounded her and killed her photographer put to death.

Gannon in Toronto to be honoured by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Journalist Kathy Gannon, who was shot while working in Afghanistan, is in Toronto to be honoured by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. 'There was so much blood, and I thought I was dying,' Gannon told CBC's Carol Off. 'I was just trying to go peacefully.' (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

She may not be ready to forgive, but Kathy Gannon says she doesn't want the Afghan gunman who severely wounded her and murdered her photographer put to death.

Gannon, the longtime Associated Press journalist who was born in Timmins, Ont., says she doesn't believe in the death penalty, but wants the rogue police officer responsible for the shooting to remain in prison for the rest of his life.

Anja Niedringhaus, an award-winning photographer, died instantly in the April 4 attack that took place near the eastern city of Khost.

Associated Press Kathy Gannon was wounded and her colleague, photographer Anja Niedringhaus, was killed on April 4, 2014 when an Afghan policeman opened fire while they were sitting in their car in eastern Afghanistan. (Associated Press)

The pair were covering the run-up to last spring's Afghan presidential election, and were sitting in a vehicle in a fortified compound surrounded by police and soldiers, when one of the officers walked up, yelled "Allahu Akbar" and fired on them.

He dropped his AK-47 and surrendered, telling authorities that the shooting was revenge for the deaths of his family in a NATO bombing — a story he has changed three times since the shooting.

Gannon, who is in Toronto to be honoured by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression with its Tara Singh Hayer Memorial Award, says the gunman has been sentenced to death, but she and Niedringhaus's family are in agreement about opposing capital punishment

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