Afghan media accuse govt of not investigating assassinations of journalists

Media support bodies in Afghanistan have accused government of not properly investigating the targeted killings of journalists adding that because of this and the high level of threats they face, some have already left the country.

“Unfortunately violence against journalists has not reduced, because government has not followed up on the cases of journalists killed,” said Mujib Khalwatgar, the head of Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan.

“Government claims it is pursuing the cases but just opening a dossier does not mean [it is being] investigated,” he said.

The head of Asar weekly Abdul Sami Ghairatmal said: “Some journalists in the western zone [of Afghanistan] have left their jobs and some have left the country because of the high level of threats.”

Many Afghan journalists say they will leave the county if their security is not ensured.

“We face difficulties every day, government does not provide information, threats are very high, if the security is not ensured we will leave the country,” said Samim Faizi, a journalist.

“I wear a bulletproof vest when I come to the office to save my life,” said Hasib Saabari, another journalist.

However, the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) refute the claims and say they are investigating the cases of journalists killed in the past few months.

“The MoI investigates all cases of journalists and civil society activists killed and coordinates with the media,” said Tariq Arian, spokesman for the MoI.

Eleven Afghan journalists were killed in Afghanistan in 2020 and one was killed on January 1 this year.