Violence against Journalists Increased in Afghanistan with 5,928 Media Workers Lost Jobs In 2021

Press freedom organizations have raised concerns over an increase in the incidents of violence against journalists across Afghanistan in 2021, while nearly 6,000 journalists and media workers also lost their jobs during the span of one year.

Afghanistan Journalists Center and Afghan Independent Journalists Association said in their annual report that they have registered around 117 cases of violence against journalists and media workers since March 2021. 

The association in a statement said that 11 journalists and media workers were killed due to violence in the year 2021, and also expressed concern that violence has been twin folded since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August.

“Compared with Islamic Republic period, violence has increased during the incumbent Islamic Emirate and also workspaces for journalists and free media is very limited,” the report said, also lamented over unprecedented self-censorship.

Deputy Head of Afghan Independent Journalists Association, Farhad Behroz said that last year and probably this year would not be “good for journalists.” “We will share the issue with the international community and will try to explain the reason behind the hurdle on the way of free speech,” Behroz added.

An Afghan journalist Sadaqat Ghorzang called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to let them have access to the information and also allow the journalists to conduct investigation reports.

Meanwhile, a female journalist, Hadya Ziayee said that they are facing enormous challenges while covering events or making reports, but hoped for “better days to come.”

However, Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reiterated IEA’s commitment to supporting journalists in Afghanistan and said they are working to end violence against them.

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