Journalists in east call for their safety
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Journalists in eastern provinces on Saturday asked the government and the rebels to make efforts at protecting their lives during operations against each other.
They made the appeal at a gathering attended by members of the Journalists Protection Committee from eastern provinces in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province.
Nangarhar University teacher and head of the Journalist Protection Committee, Babrak Miankhel read out a letter addressed to President Karzai asking the Afghan leader to issue serious directives to the authorities concerned about ensuring protection to the lives of journalists.
Miankhel said problems being faced by journalists had lately increased and that most incidents of violence against reporters involved government officials. He said both rounds of the presidential elections saw some journalists were threatened and harassed.
Executive Body member of the Independent Association of Writers and Journalists in the eastern zone, Mohammad Asif Shinwari, asked journalists to display huge bravery while fulfilling their professional obligation. He said there would be more threats to journalists in future as compared to those they faced in the past.
“We will be witnessing protest demonstrations in the near future, when some circles will try to put pressure on them to safeguard their interests,” he said, asking journalists to be ready to face upcoming threats and challenges.
Another member of the association, Tahir Sapi, said during the elections, journalists were threatened by armed rebels on the one hand and harassed by powerful individuals on the other.
He urged the government to take solid steps to protect journalists and investigate cases of violence against them and award punishment to those involved. Sapi said a number of cases of violence against journalists were yet to be investigated.
Journalists have held similar gatherings in the past and have called on all parties to the conflict to spare them during their operations against each other.
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