Eight media workers killed in Afghanistan in 2021; perpetrators enjoy total impunity for these crimes


November 2, 2021

Kabul- At least eight journalists, media workers killed in Afghanistan in 2021; almost total impunity for these crimes, in an orgy of repression that has scores of other acts of violation against press freedom in the country, the Afghanistan Journalists Center(AFJC) on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Aside from the killings of journalists, reports of arrests, confiscation of equipment, threats, and even torture and beatings of journalists in Afghanistan are on the rise after the Taliban seized the power in mid-August.

The AFJC press freedom tracker recorded eight journalists, media workers’ killings including five women in 2021. While journalists face ongoing risks and perpetrators enjoy almost total impunity for these crimes.

According to AFJC data, at least 127 journalists and media workers including 20 women have been killed since in Afghanistan, an average of almost 6 per year.

The killing of journalists and media workers is a long-lasting concern of the media community in Afghanistan. Most of these cases will see little justice: of the all 127 killings recorded in the last two decades, about 18% of the cases have been processed and concluded at primary or appeal courts and only six cases have had a final verdict issued.

According to an AFJC’s estimation, since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, about 80 percent of all media outlets have shut down or are only partially operating amid security concerns, financial woes, or uncertainty over their future under a Taliban government.

Meanwhile, hundreds of media workers have left Afghanistan and those who remained in the country are operating in an atmosphere of fear and terror, and violent behavior of the Taliban against the free press.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center urged the Taliban to honor their promises and not to put pressure on the media and protect the journalists and to strive toward ending this scourge of impunity for crimes against journalists.