So far in 2016, 10 professional journalists have been murdered in the line of duty in Afghanistan, making it the most violent year for reporters in the country’s history, according to a new report from a watchdog group.
The Afghan Journalists' Safety Committee released its six-month report Monday and found 54 incidents of violence committed against journalists in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year, a 38 percent increase over the same time last year.
The report noted that the majority of the violence was carried out on behalf of the government, but it did not give any specific details as to those individuals involved. It also noted that the number of cases involving individuals linked to the Taliban has drastically increased compared to previous years. The government was responsible for 21 violent incidents, while the Taliban was responsible for 16 cases, the report said.
While the report called the country’s relatively free media “the greatest achievements of the past 15 years,” it also noted that the presence of women among the press corps has been dwindling as the country’s security situation has worsened.
“Currently, women’s presence in media is largely limited to the urban areas,” the report reads. “Women have maintained weaker roles in the leadership and news sections highlighting a setback in the presence and qualitative growth of women in the media.”
The report called on Afghanistan’s Ministry of Information to do more to create an environment of cooperation between government officials and journalists, calling the lack of information sharing one of “the main obstacles hampering journalism work in the country.”