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Media freedom hit by culture of impunity: AFJC

Media freedom hit by culture of impunity: AFJC

Nov 26, 2013 - 17:30

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): As many as 23 Afghan journalists were killed during the past two decades, but their killers continued to enjoy impunity, The Afghanistaninfo-icon Journalists Centre (AFJC) said on Tuesday.


Speaking at a gathering marking the International Day to End Impunity in Kabul, AFJC head Ahmad Quraishi said killing journalists in last resort to censorship and the culture of impunity posed a serious threat to freedom of expression and independent media.    

During the past two decades, 39 journalists, writers and other media workers were killed in Afghanistan -- 23 of them in targetted attacks -- and 16 others in fighting and explosions, Quraishi added.   

Siddiqullah Tawhidi, head of media support organisation NAI said the killings and impunity added to vulnerability of journalists. “Cases of violence against journalists, especially killings, show the government is not serious about tackling the issue and dispensing justice.”

According to AFJC, similar gatherings were held in Balkh, Herat, Helmand, Kandahar, Khost, Nangarhar, Parwan and Baghlan. At an event in Nangarhar, journalists said their problems had multiplied recently.

“Recent attacks on Radio Hamisha Bahar and journalists on the Jalalabad-Torkham highway have fuelled concerns among us,” said Lal Pacha Azmoon, the journalist and writer association head.

He deplore journalists were killed and beaten but the perpetrators allowed to go scot-free. He called for the authorities to deal sternly with the elements hindering media independence.  




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