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Afghanistan ranked sixth ‘bad country’ to punish journalists’ killers

AT News Report

KABUL: The Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Afghanistan sixth for not being serious in prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators of killings of journalists in its 2019 classification.

Somalia has been ranked first in the classification, with Syria and Iraq getting second and third respectively.

The committee has called insecurity, political instability, uncontrolled corruption and lack of a political determination to prosecute cases of killings of reporters as the major elements of impunity to the culprits of journalists’ killings.

The committee in its report, has called terrorist groups and criminal gangs as the biggest threats against reporters.

According to the report, nearly 320 journalists were killed in the past decade in different countries and 86 per cent of perpetrators of these killings were not prosecuted.

But the committee for safety of Afghan journalists expresses a different opinion.

Wahida Faizi, a member of the committee, said Wednesday that a notable number of culprits of killings of journalists were prosecuted in 2019. She said that the perpetrators of a suicide attack that killed nine journalists in the Shash Darak neighborhood of Kabul and murder of a reporter in Khost province were arrested. Ms. Faizi said the arrests were “hopeful”.

She called 2019 a good year for the committee, arguing that violence against reporters significantly decreased in this year.

But Mojib Khelvatgar, head of the media supporting agency (NAI) says that 110 journalists were killed in the past 17 years, while less than five per cent of the perpetrators were prosecuted.

“This shows that the culture of impunity is still going on.”

Jamshid Rasouli, spokesman of the attorney general office, said prosecuting of cases for killing and violence against reporters were in priority in the judiciary organ.

“All the cases of violence against reporters that are sent to the attorney general office, are comprehensively probed.”

In the latest attack on journalists, two staffers of the private Khorshid TV were killed and four more injured in July.

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