286 cases of violence against journalists

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KABUL (SW) – On the occasion of the National Journalist’s Day, Nai – Supporting Free Media organization said on Saturday that after the establishment of the Islamic Emirate, it has registered 286 cases of violence against journalists.

According to Nai, most cases of violence against journalists include beatings, insults and arbitrary arrests.

Zarif Karimi, head of Nai, told Salam Watandar that with each passing day, the violence against journalists in Afghanistan increases. “After the rule of the Islamic Emirate, 286 cases of violence against journalists have been registered in out office, which shows that arbitrary arrests have increased. We ask the Islamic Emirate to provide a better environment for reporting to journalists, and journalists should not be insulted or arrested.”

A number of journalists say that in the past year and a half, they have been detained and interrogated many times for covering protest marches and press conferences.

Seyyed Bilaluddin Sayad, a reporter for Noor TV, said: “I was arrested and beaten and interrogated twice for attending news conferences and covering demonstrations. In the current situation, journalistic work makes us vulnerable.”

Similarly, Samiullah Alakozi, Shamshad TV reporter, said: “Spokesmen of the Islamic Emirate do not cooperate much with reporters and they provide less information to reporters. More restrictions are imposed on journalists, which can have a negative impact on journalistic work.”

However, the officials of the Ministry of Information and Culture say that no security agency is allowed to interfere in journalist activities.

Hayatullah Mohajer Farahi, deputy minister of broadcasting affairs at this ministry, said: “We accept that due to lack of coordination, there are some problems for journalists when covering programs, but if journalists face a problem, they should refer to the Media Violation Commission so that their cases will be investigated.”

This comes as Khairullah Parhar, an independent journalist, and Morteza Behbodhi, a French journalist of Afghan origin, have been detained by the Islamic Emirate for unknown reasons.

Three people, including two journalists, were killed and at least 16 other journalists were injured in an explosive attack at Tabian cultural center earlier this month.