Journalists, Media Workers Should Not Be Targeted: Amnesty International

Kabul (BNA) Amnesty International has described the attack on journalists in Afghanistan a war crime and called on the Afghan government to investigate threats against their community.

This comes a day after Elyas Dayee, a Radio Azadi reporter, was killed in a magnetic IED blast in the southern province of Helmand.

“The killing of Elyas Dayee, a reporter for Azadi Radio, is a war crime. Journalists, media workers, and human rights defenders should never be targeted and must be allowed to carry out their work freely and without fear,” Amnesty International said.

“The Afghan authorities must make every effort to protect human rights defenders and journalists. These attacks must be investigated, and the perpetrators brought to justice,” Amnesty International said.

Although, the Taliban has not reacted to the attack of Dayee, but recently Dayee had said that he had been threatened against covering the Taliban’s attacks.  According to Amnesty International, the Taliban has been using IEDs to target civilians, which is a war crime.

Roland Kobia, EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan said killing right defenders, vocal Republicans, journalists, moderate religious leaders, students, NGOs’ staff shows a systematic attempt to silence Afghans who represent freedom of mind and moderate.

“Systematic murders have increased over the past years among the civil society activists, political activists because of the negligence,” said Reza Moeeni, director of Afghanistan and Pakistan for Reporters without Borders.

“They must investigate all cases of threats and violence that have occurred against the journalists and human rights activists,” said Zaman Sultani, a researcher of Amnesty International.

This comes a week after Yama Siawash, a former TOLO news presenter, was killed in a similar blast in Kabul.

Dayee worked for 12 years in the war fronts in several regions of Afghanistan.  He was 34 years old. He was also awarded Afghanistan Courageous Journalist of the Year Award in 2016.  Dayee is survived by his wife and his daughter.

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