Govt Blasted For Failing To Ensure Journalists' Safety

journalist-20-june-16

Nai, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, on Monday criticized government for failing to ensure journalists’ safety in the country.

This comes after Kabul police warned foreign nationals, journalists in particular, to limit their travels in the city because of security risks.

Nai officials said at a gathering that this move will affect Kabul residents’ morale.

“This is difficult for foreign journalists. They cannot travel with security guards in the city. It causes them problems in collecting information,” said the head of the organization, Sediquallah Tawhidi.

A number of journalists have blasted the government for failing to ensure reporters’ safety, particularly that of foreign journalists.

“Limitations on the movements foreign reporters, an increase in violence against journalists in the last month and lack of access to information are among the main issues that journalists are faced with,” said Shahin Shamal, a reporter.

Another journalist, Nargir Horakhsh, said: “Government should rather help journalists protect their achievements over the past years.”

A number of MPs also raised the issue and said they are against the directive by Kabul police.

“There have been a number of organizations here in the past that had the responsibly of ensuring the security of foreign nationals,” said MP Mohammad Hashim Alokozay.

“The Interior Ministry will direct the Kabul police to provide more facilities to foreign organizations in the country,” said Interior Ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi.

Kabul police have not commented on this report thus far.

Analysts said they believed that ensuring citizens’ safety is the main duty of Kabul police. They should therefore not warn the people unnecessarily as it will lose the public’s trust.

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