Nai: Violence against journalists is surging with each passing day

Issuing a statement on the occasion of Afghanistan’s National Journalist Day, 18th of March, Nai- Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan has said that the violence against journalists is surging with each passing day in the country.

According to the local media advocacy organization, Afghanistan has witnessed “horrible incidents against journalists” since the beginning of this year. “In less than three months about 30 cases against journalists have [been] registered to Nai Office,” the organization said.

Nai further noted that the current economic challenges have forced many media outlets to close down with hundreds of journalists and media workers have lost their jobs or left the country.

It stated that “the beginning of 2023 has been full of challenges for media outlets, journalists and media activities in Afghanistan”, calling on the Taliban authorities to respect media activities and freedom of expression, and do not allow further hurts to an already restricted media sector.

In the latest attack against journalists, Nai said, two journalists were killed and 16 others wounded in Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of the northern Balkh province, last week. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State -Khurasan Province (ISKP).

Afghanistan Journalists Centre (AFJC) had previously confirmed that two journalists were killed in the attack and 18 journalists were wounded.

This comes as journalists and media outlets are experiencing increased Taliban restrictions on their activities and a hike in arrests of journalists by the Taliban in recent months.

According to the AFJC, the Afghan-French journalist, Mortaza Behboudi, and  Khairullah Parhar, a sports reporter, have been kept in Taliban detention since more than two months ago.

Moreover, local sources confirmed to KabulNow that the Taliban intelligence agents arrested Qudratullah Noori, a local journalist, in the northern Parwan province last Tuesday.