The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) in condemning the assault on a journalist by the public health official in Helmand province of Afghanistan on September 23. The IFJ demands immediate action against the official.
Dr. Molladad Tobakar, the head of presidency public health in Helmand province, assaulted and abused journalist Sardar Mohammad Sarwari of Shamshad TV while he was working on a report about complaints that a local hospital allegedly did not receive its allocated budget. Dr. Tobaghar refused to provide Sarwari any information regarding the hospital budget and instead threatened him via fake Facebook accounts prior to the physical assault.
Hujatullah Mujadidi, the AIJA Vice President, condemned the incident. He said: “The attack on a journalist highlights the deteriorating situation under which journalists in Afghanistan work. AIJA demands a probe into the case as soon as possible and the handing over of the case to juridical institutions.”
The IFJ said: "The assault and abuse of a journalist by a government official for requesting information regarding a public complaint is unacceptable and is a violation of the journalist’s rights. The IFJ urges the Afghan authorities to immediately investigate the case and punish the concerned official.”
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