RSF calls on Afghan govt to protect journalists
Reporters Without Borders on Thursday called for the Afghan government to make every effort to protect media workers in Afghanistan.
Afghan voice agency (AVA)_In a statement issued by the organization, RSF also said it was exploring all possible ways to help end the spiral of violence in the country.
This comes amid a string of assassinations of media workers in the country – the latest being on January 1 of Ghor radio journalist Bismillah Adel Imaq.
Imaq, the director of the Voice of Ghor radio station, was gunned down as he was returning home in Firoz Koh, the capital of Ghor, on the afternoon of 1 January. He become the first Afghan journalist to be assassinated in 2021 and the fifth media worker to be killed in the past two months.
Imaq had been the target of two prior assassination attempts, the latest in November, and had reported the threats against him to the authorities. After they took no steps to protect him, he filed complaints with #journalists’_associations.
The other media victims of the past two months are Mohammad Aliyas Dayee of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s #Pashto-language service, murdered in Lashkargah on 12 November, Malalai Maiwand, a TV presenter and representative of the Centre for the Protection of Afghan #Women_Journalists (CPAWJ), and her driver Taher Khan, who were murdered in Jalalabad on 10 December, and Rahmatollah Nekzad, a reporter for international media, who was gunned down in Ghazni on 21 December.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the police say that eight individuals linked to the Taliban have been arrested as suspects in these four murders.
“The impunity and opaqueness surrounding the murders of journalists are a major scourge in Afghanistan, but a godsend for all those seeking to destroy press freedom in this country,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s #Iran-Afghanistan desk.
“It is vital that the Afghan authorities guarantee and reinforce the safety of media personnel. At the same time, RSF is exploring all possible international remedies for ending the spiral of violence,” he said.