At least 22 cases of violence against journalists were recorded within the past month across the country, the Afghanistan Federation of Journalists and Media (AFJM) said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, AFJM member Ali Azghar Akbarzada expressed concern over the status of the media in Afghanistan and said that within the same period eight media organizations have halted operations due to economic challenges.
“There have been 22 cases of violence against journalists in March. One case is the insulting of journalists. The rest of the cases include short term detentions,” he said.
The Islamic Emirate, however, said the recent detention of some Afghan journalists were due to misunderstandings, and that the Islamic Emirate is committed to cooperation with all media based on national and Islamic values.
“If some conduct included physical or verbal disputes, it has several sides. Or it could be due to a misunderstanding,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.
The Free Speech Hub, a media watchdog, in a statement also voiced concerns over the recent detention of journalists as well as the imposition of restrictions on the freedom of expression.
This comes as journalists and media employees accused the media watchdogs of pursuing personal interests under the guise of being journalists.
“Don’t abuse the title of journalist. The real journalist is someone who remains in Afghanistan and reports on conditions,” said Rasul Shahzad, a journalist.
This comes as the Ministry of Information and Culture announced that the mass media law from the former government is still enforceable in Afghanistan. The ministry also established a commission to address the media challenges.