Minister calls for protection of media men

KABUL (Agencies): Mohammad Tahir Zuhair, the acting minister of information and culture called on the international community for ensuring a safer environment for Afghan media workers.

Addressing a conference about targeted attacks on journalists and media workers, Minister Zuhair stated that the ministry would send a letter to the international community in this regard.

“We are sending a letter of appeal to the EU and the UN Mission in Afghanistan to put pressure on the other sides and the terrorist groups behind the killings of journalists to stop killing journalists,” the acting minister told the press conference.

Minister Zuhair also called on the government to protect journalists and media workers.

“Ensuring the security of all citizens, especially the security of journalists, is the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior. The expectation is that the public space will be secure,” the minister added.

The acting minister of information and culture also said that the negotiators of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan should inform the other side to stop targeting journalists. “The Ministry of Peace must warn the other side whether or not to take responsibility for attacking the journalists, they [Taliban] are responsible,” the minister said.

The comes as Adil, a journalist, was gunned down in a targeted attack on Friday in Ghor province. However, Adil’s assassination is the latest in a string of targeted killings of media workers, civil society activists, and civil servants who have been systematically killed over the past few months.

In just two months, five journalists have been killed in the country in what is perceived as a ploy to silence the free media in the country.

No group has claimed responsibility for any of the killings, and while the Taliban reject claims of any involvement, many officials and organizations have blamed the group for this new “scare tactic.”