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RSF presses Afghan government over protection of journalists

AT-KABUL: As Afghanistan prepares to hold parliamentary elections for its 14 million voters on 20 October, Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) calls for more protection for its journalists, who are the guarantors of free, transparent and democratic elections.

With 13 journalists and two media workers killed since the start of January, 2018 has been the deadliest year for the media since the Taliban government’s fall in 2001.

The war imposed by the Taliban and Islamic State (IS), which is also known as Daesh extremists and abuses by warlords and corrupt politicians now permanently threaten journalists, the media and press freedom in Afghanistan, the RSF said on Monday.

“The increase in targeted attacks on the media and the deterioration in the security situation for women journalists in the run-up to the elections threaten the Afghan people’s sovereignty and democratic choice,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Afghanistan-Iran desk.

“There can be no democratic elections without the freedom to inform. This is why RSF calls on the Afghan government to renew its commitment and involvement in protecting journalists. The continuation of the government’s efforts with regard to security and training is essential.”

Amid pre-election tension and security threats, RSF visited Afghanistan from 14 to 27 September to organize four trainings for a total of 70 journalists (including 32 women) who came from 13 different provinces and represented 53 independent Afghan media.

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