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Assault on Ahmad Baseer: Journalists body says Taliban failed to protect press freedom

Assault on Ahmad Baseer: Journalists body says Taliban failed to protect press freedom

Kabul: The Committee to Protect Journalists said that the Taliban has repeatedly failed to uphold its commitment to press freedom. The non-profit was condemning the attack on Afghan journalist Ahmad Baseer Ahmadi.

Ahmadi is a presenter at the privately-owned broadcaster Ayna TV. He was walking home when two armed men shouted "reporter! stop" and attacked him. They covered their faces with black handkerchiefs and asked to see Ahmadi's identification card. The unidentified men also attempted to shoot him. The incident took place in October.

Attackers had reportedly asked the journalist to unlock his phone and open WhatsApp and Facebook accounts. The men beat him with pistols when Ahmadi refused to do so. They proceeded to shoot at him but missed. The attackers continued to kick him while he was on the ground. His jaw was broken in the assault.

CPJ's Asia program coordinator Steven Butler said that the Taliban failed to protect press freedom as violent attacks against journalists continue. "The Taliban should reverse this trend by thoroughly investigating the attack on Ahmadi and holding perpetrators accountable". He added that there are no proper investigations or accountability in Afghanistan now, reported Arab News.

The CPJ has voiced concerns about the safety of Afghan journalists, reporters and media workers since the Taliban took over the country in August 2021. In October, journalists Abdul Khaliq Hussaini and Alireza Sharifi were also injured in separate attacks. All three incidents were in Kabul.

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