Afghanistan - Articles
Coping with kidnapping. Passage through checkpoints. Hostile crowd situations. These are just some of the aspects the International News Safety Institute (INSI) covered this month in its first-ever safety training to Afghan journalists working in dangerous conditions.
Two Afghan reporters and an Iraqi journalist who received numerous death threats for her work covering sectarian violence were killed last week, in a string of attacks against women journalists in conflict areas, report ARTICLE 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).
A female television reporter was shot dead last week in Afghanistan, reports the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Shokiba Sanga Amaaj, a reporter and presenter for the Pashtu-language channel, Shamshad TV, was shot by gunmen at her home on the night of 1 June.
An Afghan journalist and translator was killed on 8 April, a month after he was kidnapped, a spokesperson for the Taliban said.
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) is urging local and international media to pay homage to murdered Afghan driver Syed Agha by publishing his photograph.
Free expression groups worldwide have joined Afghan journalists in demanding the release of the independent journalist and translator who was kidnapped by the Taliban at the same time as a now-freed Italian journalist.
The International Press Institute (IPI), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontieres, RSF) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have urged Afghan authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the murders of two German freelance journalists who were shot dead on 7 October 2006.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the death of an Afghani cameraman who was fatally injured in a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar on 22 July 2006, reported the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF).
In what has been called the biggest threat to the independence of the media and free expression since the ousting of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan's intelligence agency has issued a list of guidelines urging journalists to curtail their reporting on the country's deteriorating security situation.
Shaima Rezayee, a former television presenter for Tolo TV in Afghanistan, was shot and killed in her home in Kabul on 18 May 2005, reported the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). She was the first journalist killed in the country since 2001.
In Afghanistan, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is supporting plans to hold a national conference aimed at promoting the protection of journalists and freedom of expression.
One year after the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, press freedom in the war-ravaged country has been generally positive, says a new report released this week by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF). Independent radio stations are sprouting, women's magazines have been launched for the first time in years and the capital, Kabul, has 150 publications alone.
An international conference on press freedom in Afghanistan has adopted an historic declaration calling on the Afghan government to enshrine the right to freedom of expression in the Constitution, introduce access-to-information legislation and transform the state broadcaster into a public-service outlet, reports ARTICLE 19.
ARTICLE 19, the World Association of Newspapers, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Press Institute and the World Press Freedom Committee are taking part in an international seminar in Afghanistan this week aimed at encouraging the local government to adopt legislation favouring press freedom and media pluralism, reports UNESCO.
Civil society representatives in Afghanistan are calling on the Afghan government to transform the state-run broadcaster into a public-service media outlet, adopt an access-to-information law and remove restrictive provisions in the press law, reports ARTICLE 19.
A proposed media law currently being drafted in Afghanistan contains "serious flaws" which, if enacted, would have a harmful effect on freedom of expression, warns the International Press Institute (IPI). In a letter to the head of Afghanistan's interim government, Hamid Karzai, the group says the draft Law of the Press needs a "radical re-assessment" for a number of reasons. It allows only Afghani citizens to print publications, a restriction that would weaken the local media, IPI argues. It says a ban on foreign investment in Afghan media could leave local outlets too weak to withstand potential government pressure during the transition period and beyond.
Afghanistan's interim government has signed into law a new bill guaranteeing press freedom, bringing to an end years of censorship and repression of free speech under the former Taliban regime, reports the BBC. The leader of Afghanistan's interim government, Hamid Karzai, says "People can have their newspapers, people can have their radios and they can write things, they can criticise us as much as they want."
Afghanistan's first independent news weekly to hit the streets in five years has returned. Reporters sans frontières (RSF) and Index on Censorship say "Kabul Weekly" is the first publication of its kind to be published since the collapse of the Taliban regime. Written in Pashto, Dari, English and French, the weekly came out on 24 January, with a print run of 2,500 copies. RSF says the newspaper was quickly sold out in the capital. The editor in chief, Faheem Dashty, tells the organisation that his staff of 10 journalists is "extremely enthusiastic and determined to report the news without fail."
Nine free expression groups including ARTICLE 19, the International Federation of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters sans frontières have called on the international community to ensure that a commitment to respect freedom of expression is a key part of all political and development aid negotiations over the future of Afghanistan. "A crucial prerequisite for peace and stability, and democracy, in Afghanistan is the creation of an inclusive media environment based on respect for the international guarantee of freedom of expression," say the groups, which also include Internews, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, International Media Support, Media Action International and Oxford University.