Is press freedom dead in Afghanistan? | The Stream


A once flourishing media landscape in Afghanistan appears to be withering as press freedoms come under fire with reports of brutal attacks on Afghan journalists.

One of the most brazen attacks happened earlier this month as Mohammad Ali Almadi, a reporter and editor with radio broadcaster Salam Watandar, rode through Kabul in a taxi van. A fellow passenger asked Almadi what he did for work and, when Almadi told the man he was a journalist, the man pulled out a gun and opened fire, hitting Almadi twice in the leg.

In another incident, two Afghan journalists were severely beaten while covering a women’s protest outside a police station in Kabul. The men were reportedly dragged into separate jail cells by Taliban fighters and flogged. Photos of the men showed large bruises and cuts across their backs.

The Taliban has also announced a series of “journalism rules” that all media organisations must follow and the strict guidelines have left journalists fearful of censorship, persecution and worse.

In this episode of The Stream, we consider the future of Afghan journalism.

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