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Afghanistan: 2007

BBC Monitoring

Excerpt from report by privately-owned Afghan Ariana TV on 1 January

[Presenter] The year 2007 was the bloodiest, most challenging year for Afghan journalists. Dozens were threatened, beaten and even killed. Issuing a report in Kabul, the South Asia Free Media Association [SAFMA] said that government officials had been involved in most cases of violence against journalists.

[Correspondent] Abdol Halim Fadawi, head of the South Asia Free Media Association, or SAFMA, in Afghanistan, released the association's annual report on Tuesday [1 January] to elaborate on the condition of journalists. The official said that 2007 started and ended with bloodshed, threats and violent acts against Afghan journalists, adding that there have been 60 cases of beatings, over 10 cases of detention and five cases of assassination.

Meanwhile, Zia Bomya, a member of the International Centre for Journalists, says that government officials have caused most of these violent acts.

[Zia Bomya] The executive, legislative and judiciary have been! involved in causing most of the problems facing journalists and editors. We witnessed a number of such cases in some of the so-called famous, democratic institutions, namely parliament.

In parliament, where laws are drafted and approved, our journalists were not only insulted and threatened but were even beaten up.

[Correspondent] Mr Bomya describes the media law recently approved by parliament as a political law, saying the law has not been approved professionally as some of its articles run counter to the constitution.

According to the official, the law, which was rejected by the president, would limit the activities of the media.

[Passage omitted: general comment]

Source: Ariana TV, Kabul, in Dari 1630 gmt 1 Jan 08



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