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HRW: Afghan Media Under Threat

File photo of an Afghan journalist protest.
File photo of an Afghan journalist protest.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says violence and threats against Afghanistan’s journalists by the government and security forces are on the rise.

In a fresh report issued on January 21, HRW said such attacks are putting at risk the gains in media freedom in Afghanistan since 2001.

The 48-page report documents harassment, intimidation, and attacks on journalists and the Afghan government’s failure to investigate and prosecute those responsible.

HRW said the failure to protect journalistic freedom has emboldened those determined to suppress criticism of the government, the security forces, and other powerful entities in Afghan society.

HRW said he Taliban insurgency has greatly contributed to the climate of fear by explicitly targeting journalists for reporting deemed unfavorable.

HRW called on Kabul to do more to end the violence and intimidation, and said the Taliban should end its attacks on civilian organizations, including the media.