According to recent reports journalists are NOT safe in Afghanistan.

Afghan journalists live only to work for a brighter future for Afghanistan but also are in fear of their life due to the countries violent past.

Afghanistan is a country where its laws are hazy, with no energy or strength to keep its people protected. Reporting the truth is often met with the death or a violent attack on a journalist.

Most journalists who visit Afghanistan, work under very tough conditions and usually face violence, intimidations, and threats that stops them from carrying out their work.

Since the year 2001 to 2014, 477 men and 38 female journalists have been attacked either threatened, beaten, arrested, killed, kidnapped or injured in Afghanistan, according to Open Media.

The highest numbers of people were attacked in the Kabul Province. The uppermost attacks were in the year 2011, with 72 journalists involved. The top five organisations experiencing violence are Tolo TV, Aryana TV, Pajhwok, RTA and Al- Jazeera.

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afp.com

Sardar Ahmad, an Afghan AFP journalist was killed in Kabul when he was having a meal with his family at a five star hotel. Ahmad, 40, was shot dead along with his wife and two of his three children when four teenage gunmen attacked the hotel on a Thursday evening. The Taliban were responsible for the attacks.

The incident became a huge subject in Afghanistan, leading to the governments promise to bring his killers to justice.

His last tweet was a picture of dried fruits representing the celebration of the Persian New Year that he did not live to see.

Shortly after the incident of Sardar Ahmad, a gunman who was dressed as a police officer attacked two foreign journalists. Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots from the center of Khost city to the outskirts, in Tani district. The Afghan National Army and Afghan police were escorting the convoy, and the journalists were in their own car with a freelancer and a driver.

When they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, and yelled “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and opened fire on both the women with an AK-47, after which he surrendered to the police and was arrested.

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Image from the BBC (Right Anja and Left Kathy)

Anja Niedringhaus, a German War photographer, was killed and Kathy Gannon, a Canadian journalist was seriously injured according to the Huffington post.

All three incidents happened this year, the year in which Afghanistan should have been a safer place for journalists to be reporting from. These incidents are an example of how easy it is for journalists to be targeted in Afghanistan, despite its high volume of security.

This leaves us with the question of if Afghanistan is actually safe for journalists? Despite the help of the foreign troops, can we really guarantee safety to journalists within, and outside Afghanistan who intend to report from the country?

Reference:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/04/04/journalist-killed-afghani_n_5089569.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/21/sardar-ahmad-afghan-journalist-killed-taliban

http://time.com/33102/afp-reporter-sardar-ahmad-killed-in-kabul/

http://blogs.afp.com/correspondent/?post/Remembering-Sardar-Ahmad#.VFz4K_SsVjF

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