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Amnesty International slams govt for not protecting journalists

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(Last Updated On: May 4, 2021)

The Afghan authorities must take urgent steps to provide journalists with greater protection, said Amnesty International on Monday – World Press Freedom Day.

This comes after a year of spiralling threats, intimidation, harassment, and violent attacks against the country’s media workers.

At least 11 journalists were killed in 2020 in targeted attacks in Afghanistan, with four more reportedly killed this year.

Amnesty International said in a statement “nearly all the killings, invariably carried out by unidentified gunmen, have gone uninvestigated. Dozens of others have been injured, while journalists routinely receive threats, intimidation and harassment because of their work.

“Faced with this dire situation and with multiple journalist ‘hit lists’ in open circulation, many journalists are fleeing the country.

“The Joint Committee on the Protection of Journalists, a body established by the Afghan government in 2016 to address the security risks faced by media workers, has made limited efforts to stem the violence.

“This lack of safety and security threatens not only lives, but the future of a free and independent media in Afghanistan,” read the statement.

According to Samira Hamidi, South Asia Campaigner at Amnesty International: “For simply doing their job, Afghanistan’s journalists put themselves at grave risk every single day.

The violent cycle of killings, harassment and intimidation is escalating, but this has not been matched by a robust counter-response from the authorities. The level of protection afforded to journalists has been woefully inadequate.”

“This lack of safety and security threatens not only lives, but the future of a free and independent media in Afghanistan. The Joint Committee on the Protection of Journalists must start taking effective action, starting by showing that attacks against journalists cannot and should not happen with impunity.

“The Joint Committee should launch thorough, effective and transparent investigations into killings and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials,” she said.

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Thirty Allied Chiefs of Defence discuss the changing nature of warfare

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(Last Updated On: September 20, 2021)

NATO’s thirty Chiefs of Defence gathered in Athens, Greece on Sunday for the fall session of the Military Committee Conference 2021.

The agenda for the Conference was challenging but necessary so that the Military Committee could provide guidance to the Strategic Commanders and advice to the NATO Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council.

According to a statement issued by NATO, discussions focused on NATO-led operations, missions and activities and the threats and challenges facing NATO.

The Chiefs of Defence exchanged views on the military input to the Alliance’s lessons learnt process that will evaluate the Alliance’s engagement in Afghanistan, the statement read.

The Chiefs of Defence discussed enduring threats and peacetime challenges. They stressed how the geopolitical environment was changing and the line between peace and crisis was increasingly blurred. The Military Committee then deliberated the changing nature of warfare and how the Alliance needs to maintain pace with the speed of technological change.

The final meeting of the day saw the Chiefs of Defence nominate Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak as the next Director General of the International Military Staff. Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak from Poland will take office in the summer of 2022.

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3 national snooker team players off to good start in world champs

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Afghanistan’s National Snooker Team has gotten off to a good start in this year’s Six-Red World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

National team member Raees Khan Sindzai won his first match against his opponent from Ukraine ending with a score of 5-4.

Sindzai also defeated his Iraqi rival 5-4 in his second match and his next game will be against Bahrain.

Saleh Mohammad Mohammadi, another Afghan team member, beat his Egyptian rival 5-0 but lost his second match to his Belgian opponent, 4-5.

His third game will be against Palestine.

The Six-Red World Championships comes just days after the three team members took part in the Asian Snooker Championships, which were also held in Doha.

The tournaments are part of three major billiards and snooker events – including the GCC Billiards and Snooker tournament – organised by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation.

It is the first time a country hosts these three major championships in succession, separated by only a few days.

The competitions started with the Asian championship from September 12 to 16, then the Six-Red World Championship from September 17 to 21. This championship will be followed by the GCC Billiards and Snooker Championship from September 22 to 28.

President of the International Snooker Federation and Executive Director of the Qatar Federation, Mubarak Al Khayarin, described Qatar’s hosting of the World and Asian Championships as a great challenge, especially after stopping nearly two years of activity due to the repercussions of the continuing outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar’s The Peninsula reported.

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Three brothers killed in Paktia in dispute over land

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Three members of one family were killed and one more wounded in a clash in eastern Paktia province, local officials said Sunday.

According to Islamic Emirate officials, the clash happened between two families in Shakar Khel village in Gardez city, the provincial capital, on Saturday evening.

The incident happened after an argument broke out over a land dispute between the two sides, the officials said.

The officials stated that all the victims were brothers.

Mawlawi Hemat, police chief of Gardez PD1, stated that three members of one family have been arrested in connection with the incident.

He said Islamic Emirate forces are investigating and hope to arrest the other culprits.

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