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Violence against journalists 50pc down in 6 months: Nai

Violence against journalists 50pc down in 6 months: Nai

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Jun 24, 2019 - 18:41

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Free media supporting organization in Afghanistaninfo-icon, Nai, on Monday said violence against journalists declined by 50 percent in the first six months of the current year, but insecurity and lack of access to information still posed challenges to media workers.

Mujib Khilwatgar, executive director of Nai, presented a report about violence against journalists during the first six months of 2019 in Kabul.

He said violence against journalists declined by 50.1 percent in the period that saw their organization registering 35 cases of violence against media workers, including five murders.

Six journalists were wounded, 17 threatened and insulted, three attacks happened on media and one magnetic bomb attack and three journalists were beaten.

During the same period last year, Khilwatgar said, 71 cases of violence against journalists were registered. He said the killing cases of journalists also declined by 61 percent this year as five such cases happened in 2019 compared to 13 in 2018.

However, threatening and insulting journalists increased as 17 such cases were registered during the first six months compared to 16 cases last year, he said.

The main reason behind the declined violence against journalists this year was few suicide and bomb attacks as well as cautiousness of media workers in line of duty, Khilwatgar said.

The Nai chief said problems regarding access to information and insecurity continued to persist and remained two major problems for media.

Nai interviewed 200 journalists in a survey that shows 61.1 percent of the respondents were concerned about insecurity and 52 percent complained about lack of access to information.

Citing from the survey, Khilwatgar said 61 percent of journalists faced security problems while 32 percent lacked access to information on the Election Day.

He said their organization launched another survey about the impact of peace talks on journalists. He said 43 percent of the respondents said peace talks had a positive impact on reporting.

Forty percent of the respondents in the survey said that peace talks had no impact on their work while nine percent said peace negotiations had a negative impact on their performance, he said.

Pointing to a Talibaninfo-icon’s recent warning of targeting media, he said that the insurgent group had set a deadline for media outlets to stop airing government-paid advertisements, which the rebels deem as propaganda against them.

In response to the Taliban’s warning, he said no group could act militarily against media outlets according to national and international laws. “This threat is somehow a crime against humanity,” he said.

Khilwatgar asked the government to protect journalists and media from threats otherwise the government would be responsible for whatever happened in future.

mds/ma

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