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Violence against journalist increased during NUG, than Karzai’s term

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Nai – supporting open media in Afghanistan on Monday released a report, revealing violence and limitation increased against journalists during National Unity Government (NUG) as compared to 13 years of Hamid Karzai presidency.

“610 cases of violence against journalists and media had been registered during 13 years of Hamid Karzai’s presidency, but during three years of NUG, 620 violence cases registered against journalists across the country,” Nai Chief Executive, Mujib Khelwatgar told newsmen.

According to him, report finding showed an increase of 431 percent violence against journalist during NUG annually.

He added that censorship was during Karzai’s presidency due to insecurity issues, but it was not clearly sensible, but during NUG it is increased.

Pressure from government, threatening reporters by high officials, and putting them in jails had caused censorship, and also negatively situated its side effect on others to do censor to escape harassment, he added.

According to a survey in 2015, 48 percent of censor caused by the government, and its pressure, he noted.

He added that another survey in 2016 revealed that 94 percent of reporters and social media users claimed that they fear scary to be arrested for their broadcasting and posts. “So arrest, and censorship has been increased during NUG.”

Coming up with examples, he said: “Arzo TV-reporters was arrested by governor in Baghlan and were asked not to broadcast governor remarks.” Similar Khawar reporter was arrested by secretary of Kunduz governor, he has beaten to not broadcast the news related to him. Information and culture provincial officials in Kandahar asked the Mirmun radio not to play women’s songs, he added.

“We were also witnessed some governmental letters that asked some figures not to talks about peace or conflict particularly in Farah province,” he mentioned.

“National Security Council gives order of arresting of two reporters during NUG. The imagination of such act was not even predictable during Karzai’s presidency,” he asserted.

He elucidated that following order of National Directorate of Security, number of reporters arrested during NUG, while we were not witnessed for such order very clearly during Karzai’s presidency.

Afghanistan was not witnessed of closure of any media organization during Karzai’s presidency, if any media outlets closed it was due to administrative or personal decision, he said.

He furthered, during NUG over 100 media outlets have been closed, in which numbers of them were shut due to financial problems, but numbers of them closed by the government.

Nai, once again seriously asks the NUG to seriously follow their commitment regarding media, he added.

“NUG must strictly obey the law of access to information, and pave ground for its better implementation across the country,” he underlined.

It is worth mentioning that Nai released its report based on documented cases of violence against journalists from all country since the year of 2001 till now.

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