Afghanistan

2010


Reports   |   Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, Thailand, Yemen

As bombings spread, Pakistan deadliest nation

At least 42 journalists are killed in 2010 as two trends emerge. Suicide attacks and violent street protests cause an unusually high proportion of deaths. And online journalists are increasingly prominent among the victims. A CPJ special report

A December suicide attack in Pakistan's Mohmand tribal district claimed the lives of two journalists. (Reuters/Umar Qayyum)

Blog   |   Afghanistan

How to support injured photojournalist Joao Silva

AP

New York Times photojournalist Joao Silva lost both his legs when he stepped on an anti-personnel mine in Afghanistan on October 23. "Those of you who know João will not be surprised to learn that throughout this ordeal he continued to shoot pictures," wrote New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller in a memo to staff.

One of two surviving members of the Bang-Bang Club, a group of photographers who covered the unrest in South Africa in the 1990s, Silva, 44, has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, southern Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East. He is a father to two young children, Isabel and Gabriel.

November 18, 2010 11:10 AM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, France

Marking the 300th day of French journalists' captivity

'Free the hostages!' is the rallying cry for those seeking the release of Hervé Ghesquière, left, and Stéphane Taponier, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan. (AFP/Michel Gangne)

Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier, two journalists from the public television channel France 3, along with their Afghan translator, Mohamed Reza, and two assistants, Ghulam and Satar, have been held hostage for 300 days in Afghanistan.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, UK

As with Norgrove, a need to probe Munadi death

A photo of Sultan Mohammed Munadi at a 2009 prayer service for him. (AP/Musadeq Sadeq)

This morning, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who died in a rescue attempt after she was taken hostage in Afghanistan, may have been killed by a U.S. grenade rather than by her Taliban captors, as originally reported.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Internet

Using new Internet filters, Afghanistan blocks news site

The news website Benawa has been blocked in Afghanistan. (AP) Until recently, Afghanistan's Internet has been notably free of government censorship. That stems largely from the limited impact and visibility of the Net domestically: The Taliban banned the Internet during its rule, and despite a recent boom in use, the nation has only a million users out of a population of about 29 million. But the Afghan government finally got around to imposing national filters in June, when the Ministry of Communications instructed local ISPs to blacklist websites that promote alcohol, gambling, and pornography, or ones that provide dating and social networking services.

October 6, 2010 6:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Belarus, Iraq, Pakistan

Murder, 'suicide,' crossfire: A week of journalist killings

Today we will report another murder of a journalist. This one was in Argentina. The last one we documented was a couple days ago--Alberto Graves Chakussanga was shot in the back in Angola. These tragedies are part of our daily work at CPJ, but this week was different. There have been eight killings of journalists around the globe since September 3, an unusually high number during my three years as an editor here.
September 10, 2010 12:56 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Afghanistan

TV anchor stabbed to death outside his Kabul home

New York, September 7, 2010--A well-known TV anchor was found stabbed to death outside his home in Kabul on Sunday, according to international news reports. Sayed Hamid Noori worked for the state network Radio Television Afghanistan and was active in the National Union of Afghan Journalists. In 2004, he served as the spokesman for an opponent of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and remained allied with political opposition groups.
September 7, 2010 6:25 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Afghanistan

Kidnapped Japanese freelancer released in Afghanistan

Tsuneoka arrives in Japan on Tuesday. (Reuters/Kyodo)New York, September 7, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the weekend release of Japanese freelance journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka, who spent more than five months in captivity in Afghanistan.

Tsuneoka's kidnappers released him to the Japanese Embassy on Saturday night and he returned to Japan on Monday, according to local and international news reports. He appeared to be in good health and said he had not been mistreated. He went missing during a reporting trip in a Taliban-controlled region of northern Afghanistan in late March.
September 7, 2010 4:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Afghanistan, Iran

Afghan MP’s television station pulled off the air

An Afghan MP is accusing President Hamid Karzai, left, of shutting down his TV station under pressure from Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at right. (AP/Hasan Sarbakhshian)

New York, July 29, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Afghan government to allow privately owned Emroaz TV back on the air, after its owner said it was shut down under pressure from Iran. According to local and international media reports, the station went dark on Tuesday almost immediately after the station's owner, Member of Parliament Najib Kabuli, protested on-air the government’s order to shut the station down. In his address, Kabuli said the Ministry of Information had made a “one-sided decision” under Iran’s influence to silence Emroaz.

July 29, 2010 4:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan

Afghan media push bill to ensure access to information

When we report on Afghanistan, it’s often about something horrific—a deadly explosion, a murder, a kidnapping. But when you ask many Afghan journalists about the biggest challenge they face daily, it’s not danger or harassment that they cite. Although Article 50 of the Afghanistan Constitution guarantees access to public information, journalists say that obtaining such information from the government is their greatest ongoing concern. 

July 29, 2010 3:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan

On Pakistan’s frontier, home is often the cost of reporting

In an alert on Monday, we reported on an attack that left at least six women and children seriously injured at the home of local television journalist Zafarullah Bonari along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. A group of unidentified attackers threw grenades and opened fire on Bonari’s house. The information was scant when we first heard about the attack in a rushed e-mail message from a member of the Bajaur chapter of the Tribal Union of Journalists. 

Blog   |   Afghanistan

Moby Media executive urges global support for Afghan press

Moby Media

Mujahid Kakar, head of news and current affairs for Afghanistan’s Moby Media Group, was at the United Nations on Monday to give a speech on World Press Freedom Day. He stopped by CPJ’s office afterward, and we talked for more than an hour about journalism in Afghanistan. Kakar, left, whose oversight includes the influential Tolo TV, made a string of important points concerning lapses in professionalism, the importance of international support, and the challenges that front-line journalists face from all sides. I’ll bullet-point some of them, and then quote Kakar about what he felt was the most important part of his message:

Blog   |   Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, at least 3 journalists still held captive

French journalists Hervé Ghesquière, left, and Stéphane Taponier, held captive in Afghanistan. (AFP)

On Wednesday, I posted an item about the dangers to journalists in Pakistan, reminding readers that at least two reporters--Canadian freelancer Beverley Giesbrecht, who goes by the name Khadija Abdul Qahaar, and British journalist Asad Qureshi--are being held captive somewhere along the border with Afghanistan. I later received a few e-mail messages reminding me that there are at least three journalists still being held in Afghanistan as well. Here are updates on the Afghan cases:

April 30, 2010 1:55 PM ET

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Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

Getting Away With Murder

CPJ’s 2010 Impunity Index spotlights countries
where journalists are slain and killers go free



New York, April 20, 2010—Deadly, unpunished violence against the press has soared in the Philippines and Somalia, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Impunity in journalist murders also rose significantly in Russia and Mexico, two countries with long records of entrenched, anti-press violence.

Alerts   |   Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, concern about journalists held by Taliban

Taponier, left, and Ghesquière. (AFP)
New York, April 14, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by the new demands made by a Taliban group that is holding captive two French television journalists, Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier, translator Mohammed Reza, and the group's driver. They were taken in Kapisa province, northeast of Kabul, in December.

April 14, 2010 5:31 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, France

Rallying (hesitantly) for reporters abducted in Afghanistan

A rally in Paris seeks to publicize abductions. (AFP) What can we do to help liberate our colleagues? French journalists have been struggling with this dilemma since December 30, when two reporters of the public service TV channel France 3 and their three Afghan fixers were abducted by a group purportedly linked to the Taliban in the region of Kapisa, in eastern Afghanistan.

March 11, 2010 10:55 AM ET

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Letters   |   Afghanistan, UK

CPJ calls for UK to investigate Munadi death in rescue

Dear Prime Minister Brown: We last wrote to you on November 5 to urge you to authorize the Ministry of Defence to carry out an investigation into the September 9, 2009, military operation that rescued British-Irish journalist and New York Times correspondent Stephen Farrell and unfortunately led to the death of his Afghan colleague, Sultan Munadi. In our November 5 letter, we offered our condolences on the loss of British Parachute Regiment Cpl. John Harrison, but also pointed out that many questions about the operation remain unanswered. Among them is whether Munadi’s rescue was a central objective, what circumstances existed when he was killed, and why his remains were left behind after British forces withdrew.

March 1, 2010 10:03 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan, USA

As fighting surges, so does danger to press

An Afghan police officer aims his weapon at two photographers covering pre-election violence in Kabul. (AFP/Pedro Ugarte)By Bob Dietz

As the United States redeploys forces to Afghanistan, and the Pakistani military moves into the country’s tribal areas, the media face enormous challenges in covering a multifaceted conflict straddling two volatile countries. Pakistani reporters cannot move freely in areas controlled by militants. International reporters in Afghanistan, at risk from kidnappers and suicide bombers, encounter daunting security challenges. And front-line reporters in both countries face pressure from all sides.

Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan

Attacks on the Press 2009: Afghanistan

Top Developments
• Government tries to curb reporting on Election Day violence.
• Abductions target foreign reporters, endangering local journalists, too.

Key Statistic
20: Years that Parwez Kambakhsh would have spent in jail on an unjust charge. He was freed in August.

Deepening violence, flawed elections, rampant corruption, and faltering development provided plenty of news to cover, but the deteriorating national conditions also raised dangers for local and foreign journalists working in Afghanistan. Roadside bombs claimed the life of a Canadian reporter and injured several other international journalists. A series of kidnappings mainly targeted international reporters, but one captive Afghan journalist was killed during a British military mission that succeeded in rescuing his British-Irish colleague.

February 16, 2010 12:52 AM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan

Protective bylines, and why they’re necessary

I’ve been writing a lot recently about the urgent need to protect journalists in Afghanistan and Pakistan (a string of links is at the bottom of this entry). While neither country has become as dangerous as, say, Iraq at the height of the conflict, conditions are getting more dangerous for reporters. And very often, it is local journalists who need the most protection.

February 12, 2010 2:44 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Afghanistan, UK

Casualties of foreign journalists mount in Afghanistan

New York January 11, 2010—The death of U.K.-based Sunday Mirror reporter Rupert Hamer, who was killed in an explosion outside a village in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, is an indicator of the rising danger for journalists in Afghanistan. The explosion also wounded Hamer’s colleague photographer Philip Coburn and took the life of a U.S. Marine.

January 11, 2010 3:02 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Afghanistan, France

Five missing, apparently kidnapped in Afghanistan

New York, January 4, 2010The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the fate of two French journalists and their three Afghan colleagues, all apparently kidnapped while on assignment in the eastern province of Kapisa for France 3 public television station. The Afghan government reported them kidnapped on December 30. The names of the crew have not been released by the Afghan or French governments, and France 3 has declined to publicly identify them. CPJ was unable to reach the station immediately for comment.

January 4, 2010 3:25 PM ET

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