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Poll ranks Afghanistan the world’s worst country for journalists

KABUL: Afghanistan was the world’s most dangerous country for journalists in 2018 due to the high risk of violence and censorship of information, according to a poll of an Afghan watchdog.

Journalists Safety Committee on Thursday said that 120 cases of violence against journalists had been recorded in Afghanistan in 2018, making it the world’s worst country for journalist community for the second time.

Securitythreats and lack of access to information continue to impede journalists. Cases of violence against Afghan journalists in 2018 include 17 cases of murder and others mainly of beatings, intimidation and kidnapping, said the committee.Eleven cases of violence were recorded against female journalist.

Chairman of Journalists Safety Committee Omid Sharifi said the government and its functionaries are in the second category and are blamed for 44 cases of violence and threats against journalists.

This is as Kabul was declared as the most dangerous place for journalists with 42 cases of violence.

More than 57 new media outlets began activities in the country during 2018 despite these challenges which Sharifi described them as “limited information and resources”. It is as journalists claim that access to information at the appropriate time is a bit hard in Afghanistan.

This is as the Taliban executed Afghan journalist Javid Noori earlier last week at a roadblock in the western province of Farah, making it the first journalist killed in Afghanistan in 2019. Noori, who worked for the Farah regional government as well as hosting two programs on Radio Neshat, was travelling on a bus with about 30 other passengers when it was stopped and searched at a Taliban roadblock and the militants shot him after finishing their search.

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