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2017 deadliest year for Afghan media outlets: Eighteen journalists martyred by Daesh, two by Taliban militants

AT News Report-KABUL: 2017 was the deadliest for the Afghan media outlets in which 169 cases of violence against them were registered with 20 cases of murder, a survey said.

The findings of Afghanistan Journalist Safety Committee (AJSC) shows that 169 cases of violence against journalists happened in 2017 that saw violence against the community increasing compared to previous years.

While briefing newsmen, AJSC head Najib Sharif said that last year’s crimes against journalists included 20 murders.

According to him, terrorist groups had claimed responsibility for all journalists martyred. “Daesh militants martyred 18 journalists and the Taliban insurgents martyred two last year.”

“There are three major reason behind the increasing violence against journalists—impunity from punishment, targeted attacks and worsening security situation of the country,” Sharif added.

“Our findings show the level of violence increased by 67 percent in 2017 over 2016 when 101 cases of violence including 13 murders took place,” he added.

However, the deputy head of the committee, Qadim Weyar, attributed 51 percent of the cases of violence against journalists last year to militant groups and 34 percent to the government officials.

He said most of last year’s cases happened in capital Kabul and northern regions.

“Cases included 61 injuries, 32 insult mistreatment, 23 beating, 15 threatening, 12 detention and six expelling from reporting area,” Weyar added.

AJSC officials say the committee’s performance improved in 2017 compared to 2016 but stress the need for implementation of the committee’s decision on preventing threats against journalists.