IFJ Calls on Kabul to Allow Journalists to Work ‘Without Fear of Reprisal’

IFJ Calls on Kabul to Allow Journalists to Work ‘Without Fear of Reprisal’

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called on the Islamic Emirate to "allow all journalists to work independently without fear of reprisal."

The IFJ released a statement saying that the foreign journalist and photographer Stefanie Glinski has been barred from entering Afghanistan after being “targeted by the Taliban for her critical reporting.”

“The continuing harassment and intimidation of both local and foreign journalists and media workers in Afghanistan is a grave violation of press freedom. The Taliban must allow all journalists to work independently without fear of reprisal,” the report said. “The IFJ condemns the targeting of Stefanie Glinski for her critical reporting and demands the Taliban cease its persecution of Afghanistan’s media."

This comes as Afghan journalists have repeatedly voiced their concerns over restrictions on the access to information. 

“The restrictions have increased on the journalists particularly by the security forces. Whenever the journalists go to cover an incident, the security forces prevent them,” said Abdul Hamand, a journalist. 

“Unfortunately, the journalists are facing problems in covering the incident. We call on the Ministry of Information and Culture to solve the problems of the journalists through the formation of the Commission of Media Violations and the Commission to Address Media Complaints,” said Sarwar, a journalist.

"The people have a right to be aware of incidents, and those who inform them about these incidents are journalists. If their work environment is restricted, it will not benefit anyone, neither the people nor the government," said, """"", a member of the Journalists Safety Committee.

A spokesman for the Islamic Emirate said that they are committed to freedom of speech based on Islamic structure. 

"The Islamic Emirate has not restricted any media. Some of the journalists and media organizations who stopped their activities did so for other reasons. There has been no challenge or threat by the Islamic Emirate toward any journalists or media organizations,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate. 

Earlier, the Afghan Independent Journalists Association said that more than 200 media organizations were closed due to economic challenges that also left more than 6,000 journalists unemployed.