Killing Journalists a War Crime: Minister Zuhair

Kabul (BNA) Addressing a press conference here on Thursday together with deputy minister of publications, Abdul Manan Shiway Sharq, Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammad Tahir Zuhair said that the continued targeted killings of Afghan journalists is a war crime and severely impacting the status of press freedom in Afghanistan, and he called on the Ministry of Interior to define a new security strategy to help ensure security and safety for media workers and journalists. The minister also asked High Council for National Reconciliation to prioritize safety of journalists during the peace talks.

“Whether the Taliban accepts it or not, they are responsible for all such acts of violence that happen in Afghanistan,” said Minister Zuhair.

The acting minister asked journalists and media outlets to share their proposals for improving the status of journalists in the country. “We demand a review of the security strategy for the journalists and media community,” said deputy minister Sharq.

In the latest acts of violence against the media, a journalist in Ghazni, Rahmatullah Nikzad–who was also head of the journalists’ union in the province–was killed in an attack by armed men on December 21. Former TOLOnews presenter Yama Siawash, Radio Azadi reporter Elyas Daee, Enekaas TV’s presenter in Nangarhar Malala Maiwand, and Ariana News presenter Fardin Amini all have been killed in different incidents since November 7.

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