EU, NATO Condemns Targeted Attacks on Media, Civil Leaders
The EU delegation, NATO and diplomatic missions based in Kabul in a joint statement released on Monday “strongly condemn” the recent targeted attacks on representatives of the media and religious leaders.
The joint statement of the EU delegation, and diplomatic missions including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, Australia, Canada, the NATO Mission to Afghanistan, Norway, the UK and the US mission based in Kabul condemned the “unlawful attacks on representatives of the media, religious leaders and groups, human rights defenders, students, civil society and civilians at large.”
The joint statement noted that the “Taliban and various terrorist organizations are responsible for the significant majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.”
“We consider these not only as savage attacks against Afghan blood, but as an attack on the very peace process in Afghanistan. Recognizing the bravery of Afghanistan’s people, we are confident that these attacks will fail in their intent to silence the diversity of opinions,” it said.
“It has never mattered more for the people of Afghanistan to feel able to express themselves freely and provide their opinions on the peace talks, as well as engage in the process, to achieve an inclusive and sustainable peace. Upholding the free flow of information and holding the accountable will benefit everyone who wishes to live in a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan,” the statement said.
“We honor all those in Afghanistan who work tirelessly to advance freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Our respective missions expect that all parties to the conflict will protect the freedom and the independence of the media and civil society in Afghanistan, which is indispensable to a vibrant, functioning, and economically viable democracy,” it added.
The statement also reaffirms our commitment to champion the freedom of all the Afghan people.
“We call for immediate compliance with international humanitarian law and law. To this end, we support the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in its efforts to investigate and those who are targeting these individuals with violence and immediately end the impunity of these killings,” according to the statement.
Recently, media workers and reporters said they are concerned about their safety after a number of journalists were targeted in the country.
Last month, Elyas Dayee, a Radio Azadi reporter, was killed in a magnetic IED in the southern province of Helmand.
A week before this incident, , a former TOLOnews presenter, was killed in a similar blast in Kabul.