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RSF Condemns 'Climate of Violence' Against Media in Afghanistan

The international press freedom watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders, is condemning what it calls a "climate of violence" against the media in Afghanistan.

In an open letter to President Hamid Karzai Thursday, the group expressed concern about recent violence and disciplinary actions against media outlets in the country.

The organization cited an incident Wednesday in which media representatives were barred from parliamentary proceedings after a legislator complained of video that showed her asleep during debates aired on national television.

The letter also addresses alleged acts of violence against reporters and the government's detention of a radio journalist for more than seven months without evidence.

A spokesman for the Afghan embassy in Washington, Ashraf Haidari, told VOA Thursday that the country's constitution guarantees freedom of expression. He said the growth of private radio stations and hundreds of newspapers illustrates the Afghan government is protecting the media.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.