Afghanistan: another deadly Year for Journalists in 2019

Within the first six months of 2019, Afghanistan has lost six of its journalists in separate incidents, the first death of a journalist was recorded by RSF in Afghanistan this year.

35 cases of violence against journalists and media staff were recorded by Nai, supporting open media in Afghanistan which includes 5 cases of murder, 6 injuries, 17 cases of threats and insults, 3 cases of attacks on media, 3 cases of beating, and 1 case of IED explosion.

Unfortunately, murder cases are just the most extreme violences against journalists but other violences remain prevalent including: kidnapping, beating, injuring, insulting and humiliating journalists.

Recently the Taliban terrorist group issued new threats to media outlets in Afghanistan, demanding an immediate halt to publications of pro-government advertisements.

Working as a journalist in war-torn Afghanistan is not easy and safety is an increasing concern for journalists around the country.

The Taliban and Islamic State (ISIS) were involved in crimes against humanity and are the most responsible for the attacks on journalists and media staff in Afghanistan. They targeted journalists, aimed to silence press freedom and incite fear among the people.


Afghan Journalist Javid Noori

Javid Noori was the first journalist in the world killed in Afghanistan by Taliban fighters on January 5th, 2019.

He was killed when the Taliban searched a bus he was on at a roadblock in the western Frarah province of Afghanistan. Only 27 years old, Javid Noori worked for Neshat Radio in the western Farah province of Afghanistan.


Local journalists Shafiqullah Arya and Rahimullah Rahmani

In February, two other radio journalists were shot and killed in the northern Takhar province of Afghanistan.

Shafiqullah Arya and Rahimullah Rahmani were shot and killed by two unidentified men who entered Radio Hamsada’s office, a local radio station based in Taloqan city in northeastern Afghanistan. They were killed during a live program.


View of Sultan Mahmood Khairkhwas tomb in Southern Khost province of Afghanistan

Sultan Mahmood Khairkhwa, local Afghan journalist of Zhman TV died from complications after being shot in head by ISIS gunmen in the southern Khost city of Afghanistan on March 15th.

More violence against journalists this month was seriously wounded Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi. Ahmadi the local Afghan journalist was on his way to his office when an IED bomb that was embedded in his car, detonated in Lashkargah city of Helmand province in southwestern Afghanistan.

He worked with Helmand based Sabawoon TV in Afghanistan.


More bad news for journalists this month, a gunmen attacked radio journalist, Imran Lemar. Lemar worked at Mazal radio and was shot & injured by an unknown gunman in the eastern Jalalabad city of Afghanistan on April 25th.

Also in April, the 1TV Editor-in-Chief, Abdullah Khenjani was beaten by a presidential protection guard in Kabul city.


Meena Mangal presenting TV show in local TV in Kabul

Tragic news in May for the family of female Afghan journalist, Meena Mangal who was shot dead Kabul, the capital city by unknown gunmen.

Meena Mangal was shot dead in public on May 11th while she was on her way to work in Kabul. Her family wants justice from the government.

Leaders from around the world like Justin Trudeau commended Meena Mangal’s journalistic integrity and her advocacy for women and girls while condemning the violence that ended her life.

She worked at Tolo TV, the largest private broadcaster in Afghanistan, as well as Shamshad and Lemar television stations.

She had also recently become a cultural adviser to the lower chamber of Afghanistan’s national parliament.


AFJC Shaki Baluch

According to the Afghan media, Shaki Baluch, a local journalist of National broadcaster (RTA) killed in southern Zabul province of Afghanistan by unknown gunmen in the month of July and also seven employees of local Shamshad TV stations were wounded in an attack in the capital of the country.

Moreover, recently Taliban insurgents issued new threats against Afghan media which sparks Global Reaction. Unfortunately, murder cases are just the most extreme violences against journalists but other violences remain prevalent including: kidnapping, beating, injuring, insulting and humiliating journalists.

The Afghan government has made repeated commitments to ensure the protection of journalists and journalistic protection institutions have repeatedly asked the government to protect journalists. But challenges remain for journalist’s safety today. RSF recognized Afghanistan as the deadliest country for journalists in the world. 15 journalists were killed in 2018.

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