Group: 2016 most dangerous for Afghan journalists, 10 killed

AP News
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Posted: Jul 12, 2016 6:29 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A new report by the Afghan Journalists' Safety Committee named 2016 as the most dangerous so far for journalists in Afghanistan, with 10 news professionals killed in the first six months of this year.

The report, released on, Monday recorded 54 incidents of violence against journalists during the first half of the year — 38 percent higher than in the same period in 2015.

The incidents included killings, assaults, detentions and intimidation, and most were carried out by "individuals linked to the government," AJSC's report said, without elaborating.

The Taliban were behind 30 percent of the attacks, or 16 of the 54 recorded incidents.

The report noted the Taliban became increasingly hostile toward media after they briefly overran the northern city of Kunduz in 2015 and one TV station had falsely reported the militants were violating the city's women.

A Jan. 20 Taliban attack on a bus carrying staff of the country's main commercial television network, Tolo TV, was blown up and seven employees were killed.

President Ashraf Ghani's decree in February, aimed at increasing the safety of journalists "has so far failed to result in considerable change," the committee said.

The Afghan committee also cited the June deaths of NPR's photographer David Gilkey and his Afghan assistant Zabiullah Tamana in the volatile southern Helmand province.

AJSC also said the number of Afghan women in the media is falling amid worsening security. Women journalists working in "the capital city of Kabul and in provinces alike face pressures from violent extremists, extremist individuals and groups and also extremist elements of their own families," AJSC said.