April 24, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) have expressed serious concern over recent incidents of press freedom violations in Afghanistan. The IFJ has demanded a thorough investigation to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.
On April 19, Ariana News reporter Atillah Noori was threatened and insulted by the guards of the chief of provincial police Mohammad Pahlawan in Sar-e-Pul province in northern Afghanistan. Policemen tried to attack him, and it was only an intervention from local people that saved Noori. The journalist was denied access to anyone in the police department except the Pahlawan on April 7 for an interview.
AIJA Vice President Hujatullah Mujadadi expressed concern over the incident and urged the federal and local governments to investigate the incident. He said: “Impunity in cases of violence against journalists has led the police officers to insult and threaten the journalists without any fear of prosecution.”
In another incident on April 19, the governor of Herat province pushed out a group of journalists, who were invited to a meeting at Murghab-Herirote district about the division of the waters of the Salma Dam. The journalists claimed that the governor used foul language and his guards pushed them out. The spokesman for the governor, Jellani Farhad, later claimed that the incident was not newsworthy for the journalists and that the governor did not want to waste the journalists’ time.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ is concerned about the continuous attacks and harassment of journalists in Afghanistan. This raises questions regarding the government’s commitment to press freedom. The IFJ urges the Afghan government to investigate the incidents.” - IFJ media release
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