HRW notes increasing threats to journalists in Afghanistan
KABUL (Pajhwok): Incidents of violence against journalists have seen a spike in the outgoing solar, says a leading international human rights group.
As many as 191 incidents of violence, threats, intimidation, and insults against journalists were recorded from mid-March 2015 to mid-March 2016, compared to 103 incidents in 2014 to 2015.
The incidents included the killings of 10 journalists, the injuring of 22 and beatings of 24, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said, quoting statistics from the Afghanistan Journalists Centre (AFJC).
At least 14 attempted armed attacks or bombings against journalists or media outlets were also reported over the past year. Government officials and the Afghan military accounted for 82 cases, or 43 percent.
The Taliban were linked to 52 of the incidents and unidentified armed individuals blamed 34 incidents. The victims include seven journalists from Tolo TV killed in a Taliban suicide attack on January 20.
A statement from HRW said Afghan journalists had faced increasing intimidation and violence from both state and non-state figures in recent years.
Journalists are vulnerable to threats, intimidation, and violence, particularly in relation to reporting on corruption, land grabbing, violence against women and human rights abuses, the group noted.
It went on to warn: “Until both government and insurgents allow journalists to report without fear for their safety, Afghanistan’s fragile media freedom is at risk of becoming a casualty of the country’s long civil conflict.”
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