Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Afghan journalists face mounting death threats, intimidation

As Afghan journalists become increasingly aggressive in their reporting of the drug mafia, warlordism, and corrupt officials, they must deal with more formidable intimidation and frequent death threats, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on June 10.

The recent kidnapping and murder of BBC reporter Abdul Samad Rohani is considered to be a reflection of the escalating hostility investigative journalists face in Afghanistan. The fact that the Taliban denied any involvement in his death brings to light the new dangers of reporting in Afghanistan. Increasingly, those risks stem not from war reporting, but attention given to criminal organizations and powerful corrupt politicians.

“Our reporters are working in some very risky areas and are taking on some very edgy topics,” said Jean MacKenzie, the Afghan country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). “That brings them into conflict with various members of Afghan society. Certainly, our reporters in the south are under constant threat from a variety of sources. And as the murder of Abdul Samad Rohani is testament to, it is not necessarily the Taliban or the insurgents who are the major source of risk.”

For the full article, click here.


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