84 cases of violence against media freedom recorded in Afghanistan
Government officials and security forces, Taliban and illegal armed groups were among the perpetrators of media violations.
The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) announced its annual report regarding violence against media freedom in Afghanistan, and said 84 cases of violence were registered during 2013 across the war-torn country.
AFJC following in its report said the cases include murder, injuries, physical and verbal abuse, death threats and closure of media outlets from January to December 2013.
The report further added that government officials and security forces, Taliban and illegal armed groups were among the perpetrators of media violations.
“These attacks violate the journalists’ right to life, undermine the public’s right to know and create an environment of self-censorship, especially in insecure southern and eastern provinces,” AFJC said in its report, while expressing erious concerns about the safety of media representatives ahead of April presidential vote and the international troops pullout.
According to AFJC, in genreal, 18 cases involved governmental officials, 16 unidentified individuals, 11 National Directorate of Security (intelligence) personnel, 11 Taliban, 9 policemen, 8 security guards, 6 irresponsible gunmen,4 media outlet owners and 1 International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers.
The report also warned that violence against reporters is increasing amid fears that illegal armed groups will intensify attacks on media in future.
In the meantime, AFJC welcomed president Hamid Karzai’s decree regarding the closure of all cases against media outlets referred to the Attorney General Office (AGO), and called it a good development that happened at the end of the year.
AFJC also called on the Afghan government to step up efforts to strengthen media organizations, and protect freedom of speech as well as sustaining free media in the country.