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‘Intentional’ militant attacks on journalists increased: Nai

AT-KABUL: Nai- an organization that support open media in Afghanistan in its annual report said on Thursday that intentional attacks against Afghan journalists increased as in last one year 116 cases of violence against media-men were registered by the watchdog including 12 murders.

Out of the 116 cases, 12 murders, 23 injured, three arrests, 15 beating and 63 threatening and insulting cases were registered by the non-governmental organizations in the past 12 months.

While releasing the report violence against journalists in last one year, Head of Nai, Wahidullah Tawhidi, said that Taliban increased their intentional attacks against journalists as in past one year, 64 out of the 116 cases were committed by the Taliban including seven murders in a single day.

According to Tawhidi out of the 116 cases, the remaining 26 cases were committed by government, one by foreign forces and 21 by unknown persons which are not identified yet.

The media activist said last year was deadliest in the past 14 years for Afghan journalists in which a significant number of male and female journalists also left the country and migrated to western countries.

He criticized the authorities, saying that perpetrators in a few cases of violence against journalists were held accountable while most of the violators still walk free and are not brought to justice by the government.

“This issue has created concerns among journalists about their security. The government must do its best to ensure security of the journalists; otherwise, media will lose its professional employees as in past one year a huge number of journalists left the country due to security reasons,” Tawhidi said.

Tawhidi went on to say that the government passed laws on access to information, but most of the officials still deny giving necessary information to journalists.

Government officials, police officers, lawmakers and provincial council members are among those Afghan officials who are involved in beating, threatening, insulting and detention of the journalists, he said.

But Taliban were more brutal toward journalists, as they committed murders, kidnappings and threatened journalists to death in order to prevent them not to report those issues which are not in favor of the militants or are disclosing their atrocities.

Some of the media outlets were also behind violation cases as they forced the employees to submit their resignations or not to take their legal vacations.

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