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Violence Against Journalists Surges In Afghanistan In 2017

Afghan journalists attend a press conference in Kabul in May.
Afghan journalists attend a press conference in Kabul in May.

An Afghan media watchdog says at least 10 journalists were killed in Afghanistan in the first half of 2017, a 35 percent surge over last year.

The Afghan Journalists' Safety Committee (AJSC), an independent watchdog, said in a new report issued July 25 that the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS) extremist group were responsible for most of the "direct and indirect" attacks on media workers in Afghanistan.

"In the first six months of 2017, 73 cases of violence against journalists were recorded, including 10 cases of killings, 19 beatings, and 12 injured," the report said.

The report said the violence included killing, beating, inflicting injury and humiliation, intimidation, and detention of journalists.

"Insurgent groups in provinces threaten journalists to self-censorship by telling them to either broadcast what they want or shut down their stations," Najib Sharifi, the director of AJSC, told a press conference in Kabul on July 25.

Sharifi said Afghan government security forces or government-affiliated individuals accounted for 46 percent of violence against journalists.

2016 was the deadliest year for journalists in Afghanistan, with at least 13 media workers killed -- 10 by the Taliban – according to the AJSC.

Based on reporting by AFP and Tolo News