Reporters Without Borders say Afghan journalists have continued to defend rights, pluralism and independence despite many hurdles.
Afghanistan Rises 2 Points On Press Freedom Index
Reporters Without Borders, also known as RSF, released its latest index on Press Freedom on Wednesday, noting an increase in hatred against journalists around the world.
It also placed Afghanistan at 118 out of 180 countries – an improvement of two points against last year.
Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands were in the top three spots respectively, while Turkmenistan, Eritrea and North Korea are in the bottom three.
Uganda stands at 117, one point ahead of Afghanistan, and Nigeria and Maldives are at 119 and 120 respectively.
For the full list CLICK HERE.
According to the RSF, the past year was a particularly deadly year for journalists in Afghanistan - at least 15 journalists and media workers were killed, many in targeted attacks.
The RSF said by sowing terror in some regions, the Taliban and Daesh militants have created information black holes.
In some provinces, the organization said, the Taliban forced the media to pay arbitrary taxes that were tantamount to ransoms.
Many governors and local officials are meanwhile unable to accept the principle of media independence, and the police and military have been implicated in several cases of violence against journalists, RSF reported.
In response to the threats, the Afghan authorities and media representatives have jointly launched coordination committees for the safety of journalists and media, it said.
The commission, RSF said, is comprised of senior government officials and representatives of media and reporters led by the Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish.
The organization said the commission has addressed dozens of cases of violence against journalists and media workers this year.
The RSF has commended Afghan journalists’ bravery in defending rights, pluralism and independence.
The organization meanwhile stated it reiterates that insecurity has a direct impact on women reporters’ presence in society and in media.
This index however was released the same day as unknown gunmen killed a Kandahar journalist, Abdul Manan Arghand.
Arghand’s family said the incident happened at about 9am on Wednesday in Yarana Market in PD9 in Kandahar city.
Afghan government leaders have often said the safety of journalists and providing them with sufficient information is their top priority.
Freedom of press is deemed as one of Afghanistan’s biggest achievements in the past 17 years.