Media outlets concerned at continued Taliban threats
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some media officials on Sunday voiced concerns at continued threats to journalists from Taliban militants, but government officials insisted they were not indifferent towards the situation and were committed to media’s security.
Speaking at an event in Kabul, Lutfullah Najafizada, Tolonews head, said the Taliban had been trying to intimidate media outlets and use them as a propaganda tool.
Referring to recent direct Taliban threat to 1TV and Tolo channels, he said: “The last one year saw uptick in insurgents’ threats on media activities.”
Najafizada said media groups were not only under threat from insurgent groups, but also from the government and powerful individuals.
“Last year we were able to visit all our 34 provinces, but this year it seems no-go areas have increased in security map of the country and we can’t cover all provinces.”
He said Taliban’s life belonged to the group’s coverage in the media and the media should be united in their decision how to cover their stories.
Najiba Ayubi, the Killid Media Group director, said recent threats by insurgents had a bad impact on journalists’ work.
She said over the last year their offices in Ghazni and Nangarhar provinces received threats from Taliban and Daesh groups asking them to censor some of their broadcasts.
Najiba Sharifi, the Journalists Protection Committee head, said insurgents wanted to derail media’s work and their threats were serious and the government should take them seriously too.
Mohammad Ayub Salangi, deputy interior minister, Dawlat Waziri, defence ministry spokesman, Hasib Seddiqi, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) spokesperson and Ahmad Shakib Mustaghni, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, in their speeches reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the media.
Sayed Zafar Hashemi, the deputy presidential spokesperson, asked media officials to submit their suggestions to the government about how to improve their security so that special measures could be taken.
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