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Afghan media takes hard knock as staff resign and dozens seek asylum



(Last Updated On: March 11, 2021)

NAI, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, said Thursday that in the last two weeks, the number of female journalists in Nangarhar, Kandahar and Balkh provinces has dropped by a staggering 90 percent.

NAI also said not only are journalists in Afghanistan under threat, but so too are their families.

In addition, NAI stated that the solar year 1399 has been one of the bloodiest years to date for journalists in Afghanistan.

Eleven journalists and media workers have died in the country this solar year and at least 50 Afghan journalists, including men and women, have fled the country.

According to NAI, government’s apparent negligence in following up on cases involving crimes against journalists and the sharp rise in targeted killings of media workers has been a matter of grave concern for journalists.

“There are senior journalists and reporters who left the country, and among them it is said that 15 women [journalists] also left the country,” said Mujib Khelwatgar, head of NAI.

NAI says there have been three attacks on the families of journalists in the last two weeks, leaving several dead and wounded.

However, Ministry of Interior spokesman Tariq Arian said government is working on these cases.

“About 60 people have been arrested in connection with assassinations and violence against journalists, and their cases have been handed over to the prosecutor’s office,” said Arian.

On the other hand, female reporters in the capital say that no threats can silence their voices.

Khadija, a reporter for RTA Television says she has faced several threats, but has ignored the threats and is intent on continuing her work.

“Our families are also being threatened, and I, as a journalist, want to say that we are not stopping our work,” said Khadija.

This comes after the Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) and 40 other civil society organizations from around the world called on the UN Security Council and UNAMA on Wednesday to support the Afghan media community by calling on all parties to stop violence against journalists in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2222 (2015).

The AFJC said in a letter to the UN, and to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) head Deborah Lyons, that the council and all parties to the letter “are deeply concerned by the torrent of targeted killings of journalists in Afghanistan since early 2020.”

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CSTO ready to ensure its security given situation at borders



(Last Updated On: May 17, 2022)

The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is prepared to ensure the security of its borders amid growing insecurity in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to a joint statement by the CSTO leaders that was adopted at the organization’s summit in Moscow on Monday and posted on the Kremlin’s website.

“The situation in Afghanistan and on other external frontiers of the CSTO member-states is alarming,” the statement said.

“In connection with this, we express readiness to maintain security at the borders within the CSTO’s zone of responsibility.”

The meeting was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon – the leaders of all six member states of the group.

The Collective Security Treaty was signed on May 15, 1992 in Tashkent.

Despite CSTO members’ concerns, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, says that security is ensured throughout Afghanistan and that no opposition group is active enough to be considered a threat to the security of other countries.

According to the Deputy Spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, Afghanistan’s borders are more secure than ever and countries should not worry about this.

“Afghanistan’s borders are now more secure than ever, and Afghan territory will not be used against any country,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

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India hosting key SCO anti-terror meeting



(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) anti-terror body Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) representatives came together Monday for the start of a three-day meeting in New Delhi.

Among those attending is a three-member Pakistani delegation that arrived in India on Saturday via the Wagah border.

The situation in Afghanistan and the worsening humanitarian crisis in the country is expected to be on the agenda.

According to Indian media reports, New Delhi is also expected to raise issues regarding the security situation in Afghanistan.

The RATS is the Executive Committee of the SCO, headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which is a permanent unit of the organisation which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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IEA says girls’ schools will reopen soon



(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and deputy minister of the IEA’s Ministry of Information and Culture, said progress has been made at a meeting of religious scholars and girls’ schools would reopen soon.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on Sunday Mujahid said: “Good progress has been made at the meeting of the country’s scholars regarding the reopening of girls’ schools and other major political issues, and girls’ schools will be reopened in the near future.”

He said that the meeting, attended by tribal leaders and influential people of the country, is focusing on major political, security and social issues.

“The Ulema are consulting on the reopening of girls’ schools, and progress will be made soon,” said Mujahid.

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate, said on Wednesday that a meeting of religious scholars would be held to discuss the issue of girls going to school.

The closure of girls’ schools above the sixth grade sparked a major outcry around the world with the international community repeatedly calling for schools to reopen.

Officials at the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate have said that they will reopen girls’ schools in the near future within the framework of Islamic principles.

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