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Investigative journalists are not safe in Afghanistan: Tawhidi

Investigative journalists are not safe in Afghanistan: Tawhidi

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Apr 20, 2019 - 19:05

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Journalists support institutes on Saturday expressed their concern over increasing violence against media workers, saying investigative journalists were not safe in Afghanistaninfo-icon particularly when they seek information.

Many journalists and media officials from capital Kabul and different provinces of the country on Saturday here attended the second conference of ‘Investigative Journalism in Afghanistan’ for discussing problems and solutions to investigative reports.

Sediqullah Tawhidi, executive director of Journalists Protection Committee who attended the conference said that journalists faced various challenges since 2014 and  they were subject to more pressures and limitations with the passage of time.

Journalism is a difficult job particularly investigative journalism as investigative reporters are under high security threat, he said, adding that lack of access to information, law violations and refusal to share statistics were the main challenges journalists faced.

“Investigative journalism in Afghanistan is difficult and pricy, because any investigative report is about revealing corruption,” Tawhidi said.

He said lack of protection and high security threat were biggest challenges investigative journalists and other media workers were facing. “Investigative journalists are not sure about their work safety,” he said.

“Sixty percent of violence against media workers happen when they ask for information, most of journalists are insulted when they request for information, they faced with violence and even threats, the government officials did not implement the Access to Information Law,” he said.

Tawhidi expressed concern and said investigative journalists sometimes could not complete their documentation of their report due to threats to their safety.

Sayed Fazli Sancharaki, deputy information and culture minister, who was also present in the conference, said, “There is no doubt government’s information sources have serious problems, but the government has strong will to keep people informed,”

He acknowledged government institutes lacked necessary capacity but said efforts were underway for modernizing and standardizing government’s information sources.

“We have assessed 60 organs in the information sharing area and found only three or four of them were responsive, we shared our report with the Governance Committee and the Presidential Palace,” he said.

On the other hand, Sancharaki said that lack of reporters’ skills in extracting information was another problem and programs were needed to be launched for sharing and receiving information for media workers and government officers.

He said that some reports published by media were incomplete and created problems and journalists should avoid spreading misinformation.

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