Afghanistan: bodies of 31 journalists killed in last three years are identified

The deaths of more than 30 journalists and media workers in the last three years illustrate the risks Afghan media have faced, according to a new report. The investigation by the Afghan Journalists Safety…

Afghanistan: bodies of 31 journalists killed in last three years are identified

The deaths of more than 30 journalists and media workers in the last three years illustrate the risks Afghan media have faced, according to a new report.

The investigation by the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) that identified the 31 cases covers cases in which journalists were killed by insurgents or others hostile to media freedom, whereas the watchdog usually chooses to identify incidents where journalists have been killed due to incompetence, mistreatment or harassment.

The board’s deputy chairman, Rafiullah Shokir, said the killings were partly attributable to those frustrated journalists in the country who did not know what to do and called for more training in the field of journalism for those working in Afghanistan.

The AJSC said it had documented 31 killings of journalists and media workers between October 2014 and September 2017. However, there are many more incidents that go unreported.

“There are many journalists who have been killed and some of them never reported that they had been killed,” Shokir said. “There are a number of journalists who did not file any complaint with the Afghan National Security Forces because they knew that they would get nowhere.”

The watchdog said in some of the cases the perpetrators were still at large.

As part of the investigation, the board interviewed the families of three journalists killed in a motorcycle bombing in Kabul on 24 January 2016: Ahmad Ustad Malek, 20, Bilal Gul Zaman, 23, and Nosratullah Khan, 30.

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