WORLD Female Afghan journalist fears rising militancy, extremism could impede her work

WORLD

Female Afghan journalist fears rising militancy, extremism could impede her work

By Abdul Haleem, Jawed Omid | Xinhua

21:03, November 06, 2020

File photo: Agencies.

KABUL, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- "Working as a journalist, especially for a woman, is a challenging task in militancy-plagued Afghanistan where fighting and insurgency has been continuing unabatedly," Fatima Hashim, a senior journalist based in Kabul, told Xinhua.

Sitting behind her desk while checking the news on computer, Hashim lamented that persistent security incidents and increasing militancy had undermined her mission, as sometimes she can't go to the countryside and restive areas, where militants are active, to prepare reports on the living conditions of people.

Hashim spoke of the difficulties of her work even as the intra-Afghan talks were going on in Doha where a delegation of Afghan government officials have been engaged in dialogue with the Taliban representatives since Sept. 12 to find a negotiated solution to Afghanistan's lingering crisis.

More than a dozen journalists have been killed due to terrorist attacks in Afghanistan over the past few years and the latest attack on journalists took place in July this year when an Islamic State-claimed roadside bomb struck a local TV channel's minibus, killing two journalists and wounding seven more media personnel.

The militant groups and increasing security incidents, according to Najib Sharifi, the head of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, are threats faced by journalists in insurgency-battered Afghanistan.

Established in October 2010, the Khaama Press News Agency, which has 20 staff and reporters, is among the leading news agencies in Afghanistan. It releases news and analytical stories in three languages including the local Dari and Pashtu languages as well as English for its foreign readers.

Echoing Hashim, her colleague Esmatullah Mayar asserted that working as a journalist is a very difficult job in Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan is a militancy-plagued country. You are facing a variety of threats when you are in the field to prepare a report and you don't know what might happen on your way to your office or home, because the active militants always pose a threat," Mayar, who joined Khaama Press two years ago, said.

Meanwhile, Nai, a non-government entity supporting open media in Afghanistan, in its statement to mark the International Day to End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists, called upon the government to provide security for journalists and prosecute those who have committed crimes against members of the media.

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