RSF urges Afghanistan to protect media personnel

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07 January 2021

Media workers have become victims of numerous terrorist attacks in Afghanistan in recent months. 

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Besmellah Adel Imaq, the editor-in-chief of the Voice of Ghor radio station, was killed while returning home in Firoz Koh, the capital of Ghor province, on the afternoon of 1 January. He is the fifth media worker to be killed in Afghanistan in the past two months. 

However, according to RSF, the spiral of violence against journalists started already in 2018. Indeed, during the last two years nearly 100 civil society actors and rights campaigners, media workers included, have been targets of attacks. Among the media victims of the past months, there is the head of the Ghazni Journalists' Union, Rahmatullah Nekzad who had worked also for international media including Al Jazeera; Aliyas Dayee, a reporter for Radio Liberty; and Malalai Maiwand who was the representative of the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists (CPAWJ).

However, the impunity surrounding these murders in Afghanistan does not allow to end this trend of violence, according to Reporters without Borders. Therefore, the RSF is working to find remedies to avoid escalation, while the National Directorate of Security and the police issued an arrest warrant for eight suspicious persons linked to the Taliban. Indeed, according to the BBC, the Taliban have been accused of being in charge of the killings even if no militant group claimed responsibility for the attacks. As a result, also the UN, NATO and the European Union condemned these violations. Nevertheless, a respite should be guaranteed because of peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents. 


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Author: Eleonora Gonnelli; Editore: Benedetta Spizzichino


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