Fallen journalists remembered at Herat exhibition

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: At least 40 photos from journalists, who have lost their lives in different incidents in recent years in the country, were displayed at an exhibition in Herat city to honor their sacrifices as Afghanistan marked the National Day of Journalists on Monday.

“We held this exhibition to honor their activities and pay respect to activities of all journalists in Afghanistan,” Noor Ahmad Karimi, head of the Information and Culture Directorate of Herat, said.

Some journalists said lack of safety and violation of freedom of the press by some government institutions are among the hurdles on their way. “Threats against journalists have increased. We as reporters who work outside office are worried about our safety,” said Wajid Rouhani, a journalist.

“Journalists are not safe. They are faced with problems in getting information,” said Farzana Sarwari, a journalist.

The reporters said nothing can stop them from telling the truth to the people and that they will continue their profession with passion and dedication. “Many laws and regulations have not been implemented when it comes to supporting journalists’ rights,” said Basir Ahmad Danishyar, a university lecturer.

Government named 27th of Hoot, March 18, as Journalists Notational Day.

This comes as a group of Afghan journalists at a gathering in eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday, March 18, expressed their concerns over their safety and said threats against media workers have increased recently.

In a recent incident, an employee of a local TV network in Khost province – Zhman – was killed in an attack by armed men in Khost city on Friday. He was the fourth journalist who lost their lives in armed attacks so far this year.

The journalists said that besides threats by armed men, they are faced with threats by individuals within government.

The Khost journalist, Sultan Mahmoud Khairkhwah, 60, was the fourth journalist killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

Last week, Nisar Ahmadi, a local TV journalist in Helmand, was wounded in an IED blast in Lashkargah city.

A report by the Kabul-based Journalists Safety Committee released in January shows that Afghanistan, with 120 cases of violence against journalists, has been ranked for the second time as the most dangerous country for journalists in 2018.

Security threats and lack of access to information continue to impede activities for reporting, the report says.

According to the report, Cases of violence against Afghan journalists in 2018 include 17 cases of murder and others mainly of beatings, intimidation, and kidnapping. The report says that 11 cases of violence were recorded against female journalists.

Kabul was the most dangerous place for journalists with 42 cases of violence, according to the report. Despite challenges for the media in Afghanistan, 57 new media outlets began activities in the country during 2018, the report added.

Figures by Afghan government show that there are 96 TV channels, 65 radio stations and 911 print media in Kabul, as well as 107 TV channels, 284 radio stations, and 416 print media in other provinces.

The First Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish said last month that there are 1,879 active media outlets in Afghanistan. He said the freedom the press and the media are the main achievements of Afghanistan in the past 18 years and that they will not be ignored in the peace process. (TOLOnews)