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13 journalists murdered, 292 forced to suspend jobs

13 journalists murdered, 292 forced to suspend jobs

Oct 30, 2016 - 17:45

KABUL (Pajhwok): Free media advocacy group NAI on Sunday said it had recorded 85 cases of violence including physical elimination against journalists and media employees over the past 10 months across the country.

NAI head Sediqullah Tawhidi told a press conference at the organisation’s office that the incidents occurred between January and October, 2016. He said 13 reporters were murdered during the period.   

The period saw the insecurity situation and fighting increasing, forcing many reporters and media employees into leaving jobs temporarily, he said.  

Twahidi said 96 reporters in Kunduz, 75 in Helmand, 108 in Farah and 13 in Uruzgan provinces had left their jobs temporarily during the past 10 months, an unprecedented development in the past eight years.   

He expressed concern over the increasing crimes against journalists and asked the government and international community to pay serious heed to the safety and security of journalists and media outlets’ workers.

Despite the regulation prepared by the National Security Council for journalists’ safety, establishment of a committee for coordination between journalists and the government and President Ghani’s issuance of a decree on access to information, the violence rate against journalists remained steady and did not decline.

The creation of a mixed commission comprised of the  Federation of Afghanistan's media Organisations and Journalists and the government, aimed at investigating murders and violence against journalists, the process to address such cases has not yet begin and judicial organs yet to work in this regard.

At the press conference, Ahmad Wali Sarhadi, a local journalist in Zabul province, said he had been under serious threats from local officials over publishing a report about administrative corruption.  

He asked the government to seriously address issues and challenges journalists faced in provinces, otherwise the right to freedom of expression and free functioning of media would remain a dream.