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Violent crime against journalists spike in June: Watchdog

AT-KABUL: Nai—an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan said Monday that 10 cases of violence against journalists had been registered within past 20 days. The organization termed the ongoing month was the most violent for journalists.

Seddiqullah Tawhidi, head of the watchdog said that two murders, four beatings and torture and four incidents of threats were registered.

“Violence against media professionals are significantly increased in less than three weeks,” he said.

Provincial officials are not cooperating with reporters, he said, asserting that such move was against the law on access to information.

“Whenever reporters try to contact provincial police chiefs for information, they directly refer the journalist to the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.”

He furthered that provincial security officials don’t share information with reporters.

Hinting to the recent decision that foreign workers due to security reason should restrain from travelling from one area to another without security measures, he said that this decision created big problem for the foreign journalists and the cant work properly.

The latest incident was the killing of a National Public Radio NPR photojournalist and his Afghan translator.

David Gilkey and his Afghan translator Zabihullah Tamanna were on assignment with an Afghan army unit when their convoy came under fire and their vehicle was struck by shellfire, NPR said, asserting that Gilkey and Tamanna were killed; an NPR reporter and producer also travelling with the unit were unharmed.

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