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EU concerned over surge in attacks on journalists

AT News

KABUL: The European Union (EU) office in Afghanistan expressed concerns over the increased killings of journalists, following the report of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) that says of 26 percent increase in violence against journalists in 2020 compare to the previous year.

The EU has said on Twitter that it would keep support to the Afghan media family. “The annual report released by the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee is a strong reminder of the importance of safeguarding press freedom and the safety of journalists in (Afghanistan),” the Union said. “We fund emergency and rapid response training of human rights defenders and media staff.”

The AJSC in its annual report called 2020 a dangerous year for the journalists.

Abdul Muyed Hashemi, head of the AJSC said that 102 various kinds of violence against journalists was recorded last year. “We lost seven persons (journalists) last year. 10 journalists were beaten up and 47 others were threatened.”

The targeted-killing of journalists, civil rights activists and government officials causes concerns among the Afghan and foreign officials. However, no militant group asserted the responsibility for these attacks the government blamed the Taliban for it. In the last two months of the 2020, five journalists were killed either by magnetic bombs or unidentified gunmen.

Kabul police spokesman, Ferdaws Faramarz said that the Taliban tried to create distance between the people and government with carrying out such attacks. “But they have not succeeded in all plans,” he added.

Hashimi said that a large number of journalists struggling with mental depression due to the threats they face. “10 journalists quit Afghanistan.”

Khan Wali, a member of a non-government organization in Kabul said that he shifted his family because he was facing constant threats. “We live all days and nights in fear,” he added.

The government has so far failed to probe the issue of violence against the journalists despite constant promises. The AJSC hoped that 2021 would be a safer year for the media workers.

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