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62 cases of violence against journalists recorded

62 cases of violence against journalists recorded

Sep 08, 2013 - 20:45

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Afghanistaninfo-icon Journalists Center (AFJC) on Sunday said it had registered 62 cases of violence against reporters over the past eight months across the country.

In a statement, AFJC said the increasing violence against journalists raised serious concerns about their safety and the press freedom at a time when the presidential elections were approaching and international troops preparing to leave.

The cases registered between January and August 2013 included murders, injuries, physical and verbal abuse, death threats and closure of media outlets, it said.

Government officials and security forces, the Talibaninfo-icon and illegal armed groups were among the perpetrators, it added.

During the period, two journalists were murdered, four injured, one detained and another convicted and two radio stations were closed down.

One reporter was dismissed for merely liking a Facebook page and 51 cases of threats, insulting and beating, have been registered.

AFJC said its findings showed violence against reporters was increasing amid fears illegal armed groups would resort to further violence in future.

Amid shrinking number of outlets, it said the media was falling into the hands of powerful provincial leaders and foreign interests. 

It said many womeninfo-icon journalists were leaving the profession because of threats to their families.

AFJC said it was concerned about post-2014 situation and the government’s continued negligence to protect freedom of speech had encouraged illegal armed groups to threaten journalists.

With security deteriorating, the government has been increasingly denying journalists access to information, mostly in provinces, it lamented.

Most media outlets in Afghanistan have been reliant on foreign aid and will be facing financial challenges after 2014 when there is a shortage of international assistance.

AFJC is deeply concerned about the situation of media outlets, their future and the challenges and threats facing them, calling on the Afghan government to step up efforts to strengthen media organizations, and protect freedom of speech as well as sustaining free media in the country.



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