UN Deputy Envoy Spotlights Afghan Media Situation

Journalists and a UNESCO representative also attended the meeting in Kabul Saturday to mark World Press Freedom Day.

On World Press Freedom Day, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General described the current media situation in Afghanistan as “challenging” and criticized the arbitrary detention of journalists and media workers.

Journalists and a UNESCO representative also attended the meeting in Kabul Saturday to mark World Press Freedom Day.

“Free media is under attack, news outlets have been shut down, journalists have lost jobs, scores have left the country, but many remain facing an uncertain future, those still working with firm commitment and dedication are living in a consistent fear and intimidation. Reporters have been arbitrarily arrested … and women journalists are bearing the most severe burden,” said the deputy special envoy of the UN for Afghanistan, Mette Knudsen.

“The digital area has also put media workers and their sources at greater risk of being targeted, harrassed and attacked, for instance, due to data retention, spyware and digital surveillance, expression of hatred against journalists has spiraled…,” said Audrey Azoulay, director general of UNESCO.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan also called on the Islamic Emirate to respect the freedom of the free and independent media.

“We call on the authority to recognize and respect a free pluralistic and independent media, and we ask the authorities to comply with Afghanistan’s obligations and the international human rights instruments and protect and promote the freedom of opinion and expression with the quality between women and men as promulgated in the universal declaration of human rights and the international community on civil and political rights to which Afghanistan is a state party,” said Richard Bennett, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Since the Islamic Emirate takeover, more than 300 media outlets stopped activity and nearly seventy percent of journalists lost their jobs.

UN Deputy Envoy Spotlights Afghan Media Situation