Attacks Against Journalists in Afghanistan
Throughout the world, there has been a great deal of attention with regards to the safety of journalists. Whether it is with regards to journalism and threats of terrorism, or the detainment of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt, journalism and the journalistic process is clearly a central aspect of international relations. Journalism gives power to individuals and non-state actors, often by providing information. Many times, journalists challenge government policies, or expose state secrets, whether it is with regards to domestic spying, international spying, actions about war, or various other forms of human rights issues.
However, sadly, attacks against journalists are quite prevalent in the international system. There is a great piece in Al Jazeera speaking about attacks against journalists in Afghanistan. Jennifer Glasse has a video report on attacks against journalists in the country. She explains that there have been 125 cases of physical assaults against journalists, with eight having been killed in the last year. In the report, there is an interview with a journalist, Mukhtar Wafayee, who works with Howaida News. Wafayee speaks about the threat against journalists, and how Taliban, local political leaders, as well as criminal organizations in Afghanistan, are often very active to attempt to silence journalists in the country.
I have included the link to the video so that you can hear her report on journalists in Afghanistan.
It is critical that we understand what states and others are doing to journalists, and to speak and demand that they are fully protected. Governments must ensure that free media is present, and that they are doing al that they can to provide a safe-haven for journalists to report on their work. What is unfortunate and highly disturbing is that sadly, many time it is the state that targets journalists, particularly if they feel that their power is threatened. One needs to look no further than the recent events in Turkey, with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and some in the government and their actions against journalists and publications such as TodayZaman.