KABUL: A watchdog has alleged the government has perpetrated almost half of the violence against journalists in 2019 – including intimidation, beating and temporary detentions – just in rebuke of authorities’ pompous homilies about protection of journalists.
“Out of 105 cases of violence, there are five murders, 18 injuries, 25 intimidations, 12 beatings, 23 abuses and other cases of violence reported to have taken place against journalists,” Afghan Journalists Safety Committee chief, Najib Sharifi, said on Sunday.
He hinted at a dramatic decline in murders of journalists in 2019 compared to its preceding year – when 17 journalists were killed.
“The government is ranked 2nd after the Taliban for committing 42 incidents of violence,” he added.
Unknown individuals are blamed for 14 incidents, warlords for 7 incidents and media chiefs for 5 cases of violence against journalists. Moreover, victims of 18 incidents were women.
Acknowledging a 13% decline in 2019, he argued that violence against journalists is still bedeviling progress ahead of the prickly freedom of press.
The Afghan government is blamed for the bulk of violent treatments of journalists just at a time the country is at claws to join the ‘global coalition of media freedom’.