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20 per cent increase in immunity of crimes against journalists in northern Afghanistan

AT-KABUL: Officials in the country’s north say about a 20 per cent increase of immunity of punishment of those who commit crimes against journalists, saying that 95 per cent of reporters’ murder culprits are free from punishment. These officials asked the central government to put an end to the immunity of criminals against journalists.

“Unfortunately, we see a 20 per cent increase in the immunity of crimes against journalists in the northern zone that includes the provinces of Baghlan, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan. I hope that government will fulfill its commitments in the safety and security of journalists and we see no violence against them,” said Shahbaz Saberi, head of the committee for journalists’ safety in the northern zone.

He called 2018 as the deadliest year for journalists in Afghanistan.

“Undoubtedly, the work of reporting in the northern zone is full of dangers and threats. We believe that our dear journalists will never give up their jobs and responsibilities that are informing people and they go ahead with no fear and worrying and fulfill their responsibility with honesty and enthusiasm,” said Enayat Khaliq, member of the civil society in the north, offering concerns over threats and dangers journalists are facing with.

“Journalists in Kunduz province are facing dangers and threats since many years ago. They are threatened some times by the local powerful individuals, government officials and the opposition armed groups. They cannot get timely access to information from the government sources. Nobody wants to hear our voice,” said Zahir Niazi, a journalist working in the northern Kunduz province.

“We shared our problems with the government officials and we hope they pay attention and punish those who threaten journalists and interfere in their works,” said another journalist in Kunduz, Hakim Hassas.

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