AJSC’s Declaration on the Recent Threats to Media Outlets and Journalists

16. October 2015, 17:27

Despite the fact that journalists and media organizations have proved their fairness and professionalism by playing a critical role in dissemination of accurate and unbiased information over the last fourteen years, recently they have faced serious threats albeit being professional and unbiased.

A journalist was martyred and more than 20 media outlets were either torched or looted and left with smashed equipment during the armed opposition group’s attack on Kunduz province. These media outlets are not broadcasting and their journalists have sought refuge in other provinces.

Two consecutive explosions materially damaged Killid and Saba radio stations, although luckily the explosions caused no bodily harm.

However, this time the Taliban has published a news release in their website where they have called Tolo and 1 TV stations and their entire staff body their military targets.

Given the above points, AJSC is concerned about the status of freedom of expression, journalists and media organizations and wants the warring parties to give serious consideration to safety of media outlets as nonmilitary organizations which are by no means owned by any warring side and which echo the voice of the people and disseminate fair information. From a professional perspective, they can never take sides but disseminate impartial information.

AJSC condemns the threatening of the two TV stations and their staff members with the strongest possible terms and consider such threats contrary to Islamic and humane codes. AJSC believes that while engaging journalists will benefit no one, such acts will have negative consequences including boycotting news coverage of the side that resorts to threats or violence.