IFJ Calls for Solidarity with Afghan Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is calling on its member unions and journalists around the world to show their solidarity with their Afghan colleagues and join a protest against the persistent attacks on journalists and media censorship in Afghanistan.

Monday, October 9 is the two-year anniversary of the first democratic elections in Afghanistan. To mark this anniversary, the IFJ and its Asia office are asking member unions and journalists to send a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to show their solidarity and to urge him to stop attacks on journalists and ensure freedom of the press.

Two years after its first democratic election, Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for working journalists. Security continues to deteriorate and Afghan media staff have no choice but to work in an unsafe environment.

The appalling record of press freedom violations and physical attacks on journalists for merely doing their job are further indications of the dire conditions Afghan media face.

Four journalists have been killed since the elections two years ago and violence against media workers is commonly used to silence independent voices. Legal restrictions on the media and censorship are preventing true democracy from taking root in Afghanistan.

On October 9, the Afghan Independent Journalists' Association (AIJA) and the Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists (CPAJ) will host meetings for local journalists in Kabul and four provinces. The Minister for Information is invited to attend the meeting.

The AIJA and CPAJ will read out the letters of protest at the meeting and deliver them to the president's office.

Attached is a draft letter addressed to the President of Afghanistan calling for better protection for journalists and press freedom.

- Please amend this letter with your president's name and organisation and send it to the IFJ Asia Office and AIJA and CPAJ President Rahimullah Samander at mailto:pi.james@ifj-asia.org; samander2003@yahoo.combefore Saturday, October 7.

Feel free to send individual letters of support if you so wish.

To read the draft letter, click here.

For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries