Afghanistan Remains Dangerous for Journalists: Afghan Watchdog
 
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Afghanistan is a dangerous country for the press and journalists encounter serious challenges, said Afghan media watchdog Nai.

Two journalists were killed and 69 violent cases have been reported this year, according to statistics just unveiled by Nai.

Although a vibrant media and freedom of speech is one of the major achievements of the current government, Nai said these achievements remain fragile.

"Journalism and media work face serious threats and challenges in Afghanistan, both in security and restricting influence [from officials]. Afghanistan is still a dangerous country for journalists," said Sediqullah Tawhidi, head of Nai.

Nai unveiled a list of violent cases against journalists, including two assassinations, nine injuries, three arrests, 19 beatings, 11 cases of "insult" and 15 threats.

The government was identified as responsible for 25 of these cases, Taliban for four, Isaf troops for one and unknown people for 19.

Journalists expressed worry about these challenges.

"Insecurity increases daily in Afghanistan. Journalists are caught between the two belligerent parties: the government and insurgents," said journalist Mosafer Qoqandi.

"Freedom of speech will be ignored if the situation continues like this," journalist Matin Hamkar said.

Incidents of violence against journalists have decreased by 14 percent over last year. Journalists believe this is because fewer cases are being reported as previously reported cases are not resolved and people are afraid to come forward.

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