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Activists blame govt for turning its back on journalists’ safety

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: A number of civil society activist in northern Balkh province on Tuesday blamed the government for inattention to provide safe environment for journalists in the country.

The activists gathered in a ceremony observing the eight death anniversary of Ajmal Naqshbandi, an Afghan journalist who was beheaded by rebels eight years back.

The activists said that in a number of cases security officials are involved in violence against journalists while their duty is to ensure safety of newsmen in all over Afghanistan.

Radio Azadi quoted the chairman of Journalists Society in North Zone, Gulab Shah Bawar, as saying that at least 30 cases of violence against newsmen were registered last year which included two murder cases. He said the figures reveal that violence against journalists has increased up to 60 percent in the province.

He urged the government to probe into murder cases of journalists and assist their families as most of them are living in poor living condition.

He said most of cases of violence against journalists have occurred in northern Sar-i-Pul province and security officials as well as militants have been behind most of the cases.

Head of Civil Society Union in Balkh, Abdul Hamid Safut, said the government has not paid required attention to ensure journalists’ safety and providing their social rights, adding that more struggles should be made in giving newsmen their rights.

He said the national unity government has been failed in overcoming violence against journalists in Afghanistan, thus it should not remain reluctant and should learn from past lessons.

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