Concerns for Journalists' Safety Ahead of Afghanistan Elections

The International Federation

of Journalists (IFJ) and its local affiliate,

the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA),

reiterate their concerns for ensuring the safety of media personnel working in Afghanistan

in the run-up to presidential elections on August 20.

 

A photographer and a cameraman for the Associated Press (AP) were

seriously injured when a road-side bomb exploded near Kandahar, in Afghanistan’s

south, on August 12.

 

The two journalists,

identified by AP as Islamabad-based Spanish reporter Emilio Morenati, 40, and

Indonesian reporter Andi Jatmiko, 44, were travelling with United States military personnel.

 

At a national assembly of journalists’ leaders in Kabul

in late July, IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said journalists in Afghanistan were coming under

pressure as political tensions mounted ahead of the elections.

 

“Journalists play a crucial role in the smooth execution of democratic

elections by providing as much information as possible to the public to inform

their decision-making,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“While the situation in Afghanistan is marked by complexity and conflict, this devastating incident underscores the

importance of media owners and managers ensuring that local and foreign

journalists assigned to report in the country are provided with all necessary

protection measures and safety guidance,

as well as comprehensive insurance.”

 

The IFJ joins AIJA in acknowledging the courage of all local and foreign

media whose fair and accurate reporting is crucial to Afghanistan’s democratic success.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide