The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
welcomes efforts by its affiliate, the Afghan Independent Journalists’
Association (AIJA), to engage in constructive dialogue with Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry
after a series of attacks by police on journalists this week.
Wahkt News Agency (WNA)
cameraman and photographer Mohammad Naeem was brutally assaulted by police from
four on October 5 while he was documenting the murder of a businessman and two
security personnel by unidentified gunmen wearing military uniforms, AIJA
The police reportedly
confiscated Naeem’s camera and deleted all images related to the incident
before beating him and holding him in detention for almost an hour. Naeem was
released and the camera returned to him after AIJA and WNA representatives complained
to Interior Ministry spokesman Zalmay Bashary.
Earlier, Tamadon TV journalist
and cameraman Mahmood Fayez was also reportedly assaulted by police from Kabul’s district two on
October 3 as he was filming for a Tamadon TV program.
In a press conference on
October 5, AIJA President Samander Rahimullah called on Interior Minister Mohammad
Hanif Atmar to honour the Government’s pledge to ensure better cooperation on
the rights of journalists and media workers. The pledge was made in an official
letter to the AIJA in which the Government condemned police assaults on journalists.
“We call on the Interior
Ministry to bring those responsible for the most recent attacks into account,”
In unrelated incidents,
two journalists from the Aman FM (Peace FM) station situated near the military
base of the United States Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kamdesh
district in eastern Nuristan province reportedly
have been held captive by insurgents since October 3. The abduction occurred
after an attack by insurgents on the district centre. Eight American soldiers were
reported killed in the attack.
Kamdesh officials reportedly
deny knowledge of the identity of the two journalists.
Peace FM has been operating
for six months and is fully funded by the Nuristan-based PRT, broadcasting
programs in local languages from the district.
AIJA local offices in
Kunar and Nuristan are working to ensure the
unconditional release of both journalists, AIJA said.
The IFJ joins AIJA in calling on the
Afghan authorities to ensure all local and national police are made aware of
and adhere to the Government’s stated commitment to promote freedom of
expression and information.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide