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2016 deadliest year for journalists in Afghanistan: AJSC

2016 deadliest year for journalists in Afghanistan: AJSC

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On
Jan 19, 2017 - 17:41

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) says that 2016 was the bloodiest year ever for journalists and media in Afghanistan. At least 13 journalists were killed last year, a figure that is unprecedented.

Releasing its 6-months report on Wednesday, AJSC said threats were posed by a variety of groups, including government officials, but Taliban’s changed policy was the main driver behind the increase in violence against journalists.

The deliberate targeting of media reflected in the figures show that Taliban are responsible for 10 of the 13 killings.

"Freedom of the media is key to any democracy -- critical media holds the government and administration accountable, ensures transparency in society and gives ordinary Afghan citizens a voice,” said the European Union special representative.

Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin urged all parties to the conflict to do their utmost to protect journalists and provide them with a safe and secure working environment.

Of 101 incidents recorded, 51 (50.5%) cases of threats and violence against journalists were caused by government officials. Taliban accounted for 22.8%, unidentified persons and local powerful individuals have been involved in the rest of cases.

"It is alarming that the government continues to be responsible for so many cases. The government should do its utmost to bring perpetrators of threats, attacks and killing of journalists to justice. Attacks on the media must be stopped", said Ambassador Mellbin.

pr/mud