Press Release on TOLOnews Debate Marking May 3 World Press Freedom Day

6. May 2023, 09:00


Saturday, May 6, 2023

Kabul, Afghanistan

The viewpoint of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committees (AJSC) in the debate on the occasion of May 3, World Press Freedom Day organized by TOLOnews, unfortunately created misunderstanding among members of the Afghan media community. The AJSC issues this press statement to make its position and achievements clear and the facts about AJSC’s tireless efforts are made known to all. Even though, the AJSC believed that the debate will address the fundamental challenges facings journalists and media in a professional manner, but due to unprofessional conduct of the moderator, the discussion took confrontational spirit, thus AJSC was not given adequate time and opportunity to talk about its activities and achievements. The AJSC expresses its strong dissatisfaction in this regard.

As it is clear to all, the AJSC has been one of the most active organizations to support media freedoms, media development and journalists’ safety in the past 13 years. The AJSC’s achievements, especially after the political change and the establishment of the Islamic Emirate, have been significant, as it has been able to provide crucial services services to hundreds of journalists and media workers through its main office in Kabul and representations in 33 provinces of the country, which has greatly pushed the improving of the working environment of journalists.

After August 15, 2021, the AJSC has been actively working for journalists’ safety, follow-up and recording cases of violence against journalists, advocacy for journalists and media workers’ rights, cash assistance, relocation of at-risk journalists, medical support, training programs and psychosocial support programs. A summary report of these activities are as follows:


In the past 18 months, AJSC has been able to address 1845 cases in the following categories:

  • Recording, investigating and follow-up of 1082 cases of violence against journalists and cases referred to the AJSC by international organizations for cash assistance and evacuation

  • Relocation, sheltering and providing financial support to 387 journalists and media workers including their family members

  • Providing cash assistance to 240 journalists and media workers in 34 provinces of the country

  • Providing cash assistance to 54 eligible journalists and media workers in Pakistan and Iran

  • Facilitating and providing cash assistance to 51 journalists and media workiers in Pakistan, India and Turkey

  • Providing medical support to 31 journalists who have been injured on the line of duty, including 17 journalists who have been wounded in a recent attack in Balkh province whose treatment is ongoing.

Joint Media-Government Coordination Provincial Committees

The AJSC, in order to address challenges facing journalists and media workers in the provinces, has been able to establish joint media-government coordination committees in 26 provinces, and AJSC advocacy efforts are ongoing so that the committee is also established in the remaining provinces. The committees are comprised of the local government officials and media community members. The establishment of these local committees has greatly improved the media work situation in relevant provinces.

Capacity Building Programs

A total of 943 journalists and media workers has benefited for the AJSC’s capacity building programs which included safety, first aid, gender-sensitive reporting, and psychosocial support programs.

Advocacy Efforts

In the past 18 months, the AJSC has conducted a total of 1090 advocacy meetings with government officials, media managers and representatives, journalists and media workers, and women media workers, in 34 provinces of the country. AJSC’s advocacy efforts focused on addressing challenges facing journalists and media houses, activating journalists and media support mechanisms, reinstatement of previous media related laws and regulations and journalists’ better access to information. As a result, the Mass media Law was announced applicable by the government and the Commission on Media Violations (CMV) resumed its work with AJSC as a member. In addition, AJSC provincial representatives have conducted 150 interviews with media managers on the challenges they were facing.

AJSC Female Advocacy Groups

To facilitate better advocacy efforts for the rights of women in media and addressing the challenges they face, AJSC established six female advocacy groups in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Faryab provinces. A total of 35 women journalists are working in these advocacy groups as active members.

Advocacy for Addressing Challenges Facing Afghan Journalists in Pakistan

The AJSC has held several meetings with Afghan journalists in Pakistan on challenges they were facing and have shared these challenges with international and Pakistani media support organizations.

The AJSC is annually audited by an independent firm and its report is submitted to the donor. Furthermore, the AJSC regularly submits its tax reports to the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Lastly, the AJSC, as a transparent and accountable institution, announces that it is ready to respond to inquiries of relevant institutions and media organization regarding its activities and programs. At the same time, the AJSC asks the respectable media houses, especially TOLOnews, to professionally conduct and manage debates and avoid personalizing media related discussions. Professional principles must be respected in every aspect of media work so that the credibility of the sacred profession of journalism is not damaged.