Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Afghan Independent
Journalists’ Association (AIJA) in condemning a police attack on a group of
journalists working in the western province
of Herat on July 29.
The journalists have been identified by the AIJA Herat office
as Ariana TV reporter Fawad Ahmadi, Reuters reporter Jalil Ahmad Rezai, Saba TV
reporter Sayed Abdullah, Tolo TV reporter Reza Shir Mohammad and Sharaf-u-din
Stanekzai from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty(RFERL).
The journalists were reportedly attacked by police as they
attempted to cover a public demonstration against the killing of a fruit seller
in Herat District 7 by a police officer on July 29.
Two journalists in the group told the AIJA the police
officers aggressively assaulted them and confiscated their equipment by force.
Sharaf-u-din-Stanekzai was also briefly detained, the AIJA said.
Uniformed police and personnel in plain clothes from the
Afghanistan National Security Directorate were reportedly involved in the
The IFJ joins the AIJA in strongly condemning the attack on
“We fully share the concerns expressed by our Afghan
affiliate on the increasingly hostile environment for fair reporting ahead of
the presidential and provincial councils’ election due next month,” said IFJ
General Secretary Aidan White.
Speaking at a press conference, the AIJA president
Rahimullah Samander said, “Police have the responsibility for the provision of safety
to journalists, who then can provide better information to public at this crucial
time. This assault on journalists is totally unacceptable and will not be
Speaking at a national assembly of journalists’ leaders from
across the country in Kabul in late July, White
had said that journalists in Afghanistan
were coming under pressure as political contention escalated in the run-up to
the national elections.
“The political community and the government in particular
must demonstrate a commitment to democracy by setting model standards when it
comes to treatment of media,” White said.
The IFJ joins the AIJA in calling on Afghan security
officials and police to bring to account those responsible for the most recent
acts of violence and to set a conspicuous example of respecting media freedoms
in the months ahead.
For further information
contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612
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