Amnesty International slams govt for not protecting journalists
The Afghan authorities must take urgent steps to provide journalists with greater protection, said Amnesty International on Monday – World Press Freedom Day.
Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)_This comes after a year of spiralling threats, intimidation, harassment, and violent attacks against the country’s media workers.
At least 11 journalists were killed in 2020 in targeted attacks in Afghanistan, with four more reportedly killed this year.
#Amnesty_International said in a statement “nearly all the killings, invariably carried out by unidentified gunmen, have gone uninvestigated. Dozens of others have been injured, while journalists routinely receive threats, intimidation and harassment because of their work.
“Faced with this dire situation and with multiple journalist ‘hit lists’ in open circulation, many journalists are fleeing the country.
“The Joint Committee on the Protection of Journalists, a body established by the Afghan government in 2016 to address the security risks faced by media workers, has made limited efforts to stem the violence.
“This #lack_of_safety and security threatens not only lives, but the future of a free and independent media in Afghanistan,” read the statement.
According to Samira Hamidi, South Asia Campaigner at Amnesty International: “For simply doing their job, #Afghanistan’s_journalists put themselves at grave risk every single day.
The violent cycle of killings, harassment and intimidation is escalating, but this has not been matched by a robust counter-response from the authorities. The level of protection afforded to journalists has been woefully inadequate.”
“This lack of safety and security threatens not only lives, but the future of a free and independent media in Afghanistan. The Joint Committee on the Protection of Journalists must start taking effective action, starting by showing that attacks against journalists cannot and should not happen with impunity.
“The Joint Committee should launch thorough, effective and transparent investigations into killings and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials,” she said.