Reporters Without Borders (RSF) dropped Afghanistan from 121st to 122nd place in its newly-released 2020 Press Freedom Index, calling Afghanistan Pakistan, Philippines and Bangladesh the "world’s deadliest countries for journalists and bloggers."
RSF in its report mentioned concerns that press freedom, along with other freedoms, "could be sacrificed in the course of international efforts to restore peace in Afghanistan."
According to the report, no journalist was killed in the country so far this year, but for Afghanistan’s journalists, 2018 was the deadliest year since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
A total of 15 journalists and media workers were killed in a series of bombings that began early in the year, nine of them in a single day.
Many others were constantly threatened by the various parties to the conflict.
The war imposed by the Taliban and Daesh and constant abuses by warlords and corrupt political officials constitute a permanent threat to journalists, the media and to press freedom in Afghanistan, the report says.
“Women journalists are a favorite target, and are especially vulnerable in those regions where fundamentalist propaganda is heeded,” the report says.
Internationally, 10 journalists were killed in 2020, according to RSF.