58 incidents of violence on journalist occurred last year
"Government officials are involved in 26 incidents of violence on journalists, unknown men in 18, NATO-led ISAF soldiers in 9, media people in three and Taliban fighters in two," Siddqullah Tawhidi, told a press conference in Kabul.
One reporter was killed, three others wounded and eight more arrested during the year, he said, adding 18 reporters were beaten, 28 others received direct and indirect threats from government and anti-government figures.
He accused the Afghan government, particularly the judicial organs, of doing nothing to prevent violence against journalists. He said people involved in killing of journalists should be brought to justice.
"Last year, journalists faced several problems, including denial of access to information from spokesmen of ministries and other officials," Tawhidi said, adding officials prefer foreign media for information against Afghans.
A recently published book titled "Reporters in Afghanistan" by Nai, an organisation that supports independent media in Afghanistan, was also introduced and distributed to reporters during the press conference.
The book carries painful stories of journalists with evidences between 2004 and 2010. Short biographies with photos of 34 journalists killed in violence are published in the book.
The slain journalists include Mirwais Jalil, Ajmal Naqashbandi, Sultan Munadi, Sayed Hamid Noori, Zakia Zaki, Shakiba Sanga Amaj, Shima Rizayee, Abdul Samad Rohani and Janullah Hashimzada.
Abdul Hamid Mubarez, head of national union of journalists, Din Mohammad Mubarez Rashidi, deputy minister of information and culture and Shakila Ibrahimkhel, a reporter with Tolo private TV channel were presented gifts and certificates for their struggle to defend freedom of expression.
In a report last year, the Media Watch said 26 Afghan and foreign journalists have been assassinated in different parts of the war-torn country over the past decade.
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