Ten Afghan radio stations shut down in six months

Amid increasing threats to journalists and the precarious economic situation after the global pandemic, around ten radio stations in war-torn Afghanistan have been closed in the past six months

Jan 15, 2021
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Amid increasing threats to journalists and the precarious economic situation after the global pandemic, around ten radio stations in war-torn Afghanistan have been closed in the past six months.

NAI, an organization that supports free and open media in Afghanistan, on Thursday reported that at least ten radio stations halted their work due to increased security threats and economic recessions.

The report says there were 130 incidents of violence against journalists, and eight media workers have been killed in 2020. The latest case of the killing of a radio journalist was reported on the first day of 2021.

Ongoing fighting between the Afghan forces and the insurgents coupled with the increased threat on conflict reporting led to several journalists leaving their native province.

“I came here to raise my voice about the concerns which exist among the people in Baghlan because of security threats and their negative impact on the lives of female journalists in Baghlan,” said Rukhsaar Jasoor, a female journalist from Baghlan province. She fled to Kabul recently for the same reason.

Mujib Khalwatgar, the head of NAI, said the cases of violence against journalists spiked 10 percent in 2020 in comparison to 2019. There is no will in the government to provide security to journalists and media outlets.

The development of free and independent media is among the most crucial gains of the last 19 years in Afghanistan. If the government and the international community don’t heed the threat media facing here in Afghanistan, there are good chances we may lose these gains, said another journalist, Sediqilluah Tawhidi.

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