NAI, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, has labeled 2017 the second deadliest year for journalists in the country, saying that it has registered 141 incidents of violence against media workers this year.
The cases of violence against journalists dropped this year compared with 2016; however, NAI says the figures are still concerning for media workers in the war-hit Afghanistan.
An annual report by NAI, which was released on Thursday, states that 141 cases of violence against journalists have been registered this year while the figure was 415 incidents last year.
NAI report states that government was involved in 44 percent of violence against journalists, insurgents 33 percent, unknown people 18 percent and owners of media outlets were involved in eight percent of the cases.
“In total we have registered 141 cases of violence against journalists this year. Unfortunately, it included 14 incidents of murder and according to NAI figures, 23 were injury cases, 14 cases of arrest and stopping freedom of speech, 21 cases of assault and 69 cases of insulting and threatening,” said Abdul Mujib Khalwatgar, CEO of the organization.
“The sharp increase in violence in the current year has been a big blow to freedom of speech which is the biggest achievement of the people of Afghanistan in the past 17 years,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi said government supports media outlets and journalists.
“For the first time, the mechanism of journalists’ safety has been approved and there is strong support to media organizations and journalists by government and a joint committee for the first time has created coordination among different institutions which is comprised of justice, security and other organizations.
They hold sessions under the leadership of Mr. (Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar) Danish,” he told a press conference.
NAI has asked the international community to put pressure on the Afghan government to draw up a proper mechanism to overcome the problem.