Threats to journalists on the increase in Ghazni
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Journalists in southern Ghazni province say Taliban militants and government officials create problems for them during work and sometimes threaten them with elimination.
They expressed their concerns a day after Taliban militants killed a religious scholar who worked for a local radio channel in the province.
Ghazni Journalists Union head and BBC reporter Asadullah Jalalzai said like other areas, in Ghazni reporters also could not perform their journalistic duty in an effective way.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News reporters in Ghazni could not file reports on subjects like land-grabbing, administrative corruption and other sensitive issues.
Jalalzai said if land-grabbers were exposed, they would threaten reporters and such incidents had increased.
Besides land-grabbers, National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials have also threatened a number of journalists in Ghazni.
Killid Radio journalist Mohammad Arif Noori said he was verbally abused by the provincial council chief and a member last week and even threatened him with death.
“The former police chief of Ghazni has accused the provincial council chief of demanding fuel from him. I made a report on it and when the report was published, I received a phone call from the provincial council chief who used abusive words and threatened me with death.”
A few days ago, Pajhwok Afghan News correspondent in Ghazni was threatened by insurgents after accusing him of working in the interest of the government.
Journalists Safety Committee official in Ghazni Jamil Waqar said threats to journalists in Ghazni had increased this year compared to last year.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the problems for journalists were being created mostly by the government, the provincial council and Taliban militants.
“The provincial council members beat up two reporters, threatened with death a third journalist. Two journalists have been beaten up by NDS agents and Taliban militants have also threatened three radio journalists,” he said.
Waqar said journalists could not work on every issue with freedom and if they did so, they would receive threats.
Ghazni police chief Brig. Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel said police would take action against anyone threatening journalists.
He said if police mistreated any reporter, the policemen concerned would be punished. “It is the right of journalists to expose corrupt officials and mafia groups and if such people create problems for journalists, police will protect them and take action against such elements.”
Pajhwok tried to seek comments in this regard from the provincial council, but could not succeed.
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