The index on press freedom released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) this week shows that the situation of media in Afghanistan has “worsened” as it has descended to 121 from 118 where it stood last year.
The organization has mentioned insecurity as one of the main reasons for an increase in violence against journalists in Afghanistan.
According to RSF, three journalists have been killed in Afghanistan this year.
The RSF says that 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, the RSF says in a report on its website.
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 constitutes a permanent threat to journalists, the media and press freedom in Afghanistan.
According to RSF, Women journalists are a favorite target and are especially vulnerable in those regions where fundamentalist propaganda is heeded.
The concern is growing that basic freedoms, including press freedom, could be sacrificed in the course of the international efforts to restore peace in Afghanistan, the RSF says, adding that in response to this threat, the RSF-backed Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists has launched several campaigns for the protection of the rights of women journalists as a precondition for peace.
The experience of the past 17 years confirms that peace and security are what the Afghan people want most, but they cannot be achieved and guaranteed without free and independent media and without guarantees for journalists’ safety, the RSF says.