Attack on a journalist an attack on Freedom of Expression: Mellbin
KABUL (Pajhwok): After Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) recorded 39 cases of threats and violence against journalists during the first half of 2015, EU Special Representative Ambassador Franz Michael Mellbin said that one attack on a journalist is an attack on Freedom of Expression in Afghanistan.
Today the 6-months report from the AJSC was publicized in which AJSC recorded 39 cases of threats and violence against journalists during the first half of 2015, reflecting a decline by 43% compared to the first six months of 2014 during which 63 cases were recorded.
One journalist was killed and another 4 wounded in this reporting period. Similarly, 19 journalists were beaten, 2 arrested and another 13 faced threats of varying natures. ‘
In a statement released by European Union Special Representative (EUSR) on Thursday, Mellbin said: "Freedom of the Media is key to any democracy.”
Of the total 39 cases, 28 cases of threat and violence against journalists were caused by government officials making the government responsible for 72% of the cases of threat and violence against journalists.
Taliban account for 12%, unidentified persons are responsible for 3% and local powerful individuals have been involved in 3% of these cases.
Even if the actual number of cases has decreased by approximately 10 cases, the current percentage rate of violence exercised by government officials is record high since AJSC began reporting three years ago.
"It is alarming that the government is responsible for 72 % of all cases. The government should do its utmost to bring perpetrators of threats, attacks and killing of Journalist to justice. Attacks on the media must be stopped", said Ambassador Mellbin.
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