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Afghan media body condemns pistol-whipping of female radio host

In the last year, several blood-curdling incidents of harassment of Afghan journalists and media workers have been recorded.

ANI | Kabul |

The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) has expressed concern at the incident in which the female host of Dost Radio in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan, Selagi Ehsaas was recently attacked by unidentified gunmen.

AFJC condemned violence against the media and journalists after the beating of Selagi Ehsaas, who was returning from work on July 20, when she was stopped by unidentified gunmen and pistol-whipped in Moi Mubarak village of Surkh Rod district in Nangarhar province, reported Khaama Press.

The locals brought Selagi to the hospital after she fell unconscious due to the attack, the locals said, adding that she is still in shock and fear.

She said she does not “feel safe”, Khaama Press reported, quoting locals.
It is alleged that the female broadcaster was beaten by the Taliban and was also said to work as a midwife in one of the private hospitals; however, the Information and Culture Department of the Taliban in Nangarhar province has denied the claims.

Previously, on June 6, the manager of Dost Radio, Sahar Sirat Safi, was detained by Taliban intelligence in Kabul and released after 28 days.

According to UNAMA, there have been significant changes in the country’s media landscape, including the closure of more than half of the free media, the evacuation of hundreds of journalists, and rising work restrictions, violence, and threats against journalists.

Earlier in May, while reporting a women’s demonstration, journalist Roman Karimi and his driver were detained and tortured by the Taliban.

The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in a statement on World Press Freedom Day, said that they “deplore the erosion of rights for journalists and media institutions under the Taliban.”

In another statement, German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Jasper Wieck in a tweet said that “Press Freedom is key for Afghanistan and Afghans. Restrictions on national and international media outlets must stop.”

Notably, the ever-increasing restrictions against media in Afghanistan have also drawn widespread criticism globally with the United Nations (UN) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decrying the arrests, demanding the Taliban stop harassing local journalists and stifling freedom of speech through continued detentions and threats.

With the consistent arbitrary arrests of journalists by the Taliban, the media in Afghanistan faces several restrictions. In the last year, several blood-curdling incidents of harassment of Afghan journalists and media workers have been recorded.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in mid-August last year, it rolled back women’s rights advances and media freedom revoking the efforts on gender equality and freedom of speech in the country.

Over 45 percent of journalists have quit since the Taliban assumed power.
The ever-increasing restrictions against media in Afghanistan have also drawn widespread criticism globally with the United Nations (UN) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decrying the arrests, demanding the Taliban stop harassing local journalists and stifling freedom of speech through continued detentions and threats.

The Taliban had promised women’s rights, media freedom, and amnesty for government officials in the group’s first news conference after the takeover in August. However, activists, former government employees, and journalists among others continue to face retribution.