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Afghanistan

Blog   |   Afghanistan

Free press commitment from both contenders for Afghan presidency

With little good news coming from Afghanistan amid the escalating violence and electoral standoff, here is something that goes against that tide. A coalition of Afghan journalist groups has got both presidential candidates in the disputed runoff election to endorse a 12-article statement of support for Afghanistan's media -- "Commitment of the Candidates of the Presidential Election's Runoff Phase In Support of Free Media and Journalists." Article 1: "I respect the value as an [sic] non-violable principle and pledge to spare no legal measures to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of speech." (The letter is also available in Dari and Pashto.)

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan

Seeking release of Pakistani journalist Faizullah Khan, jailed in Afghanistan

People buy garments ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Thursday. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

It's not often that CPJ agrees with the Pakistan government, but here is one of the rare occasions when we do. While Pakistan journalists have been pushing for quite a while for the release of one of their colleagues, Faizullah Khan, being held in Nangahar in Afghanistan, the Islamabad government has apparently been working diplomatic back channels. But Thursday, Pervez Rashid, Pakistan's minister for information, went public. He urged Afghanistan's leader to issue a presidential pardon. "I appeal to Afghan President Hamid Karzai to use his powers," to pardon Khan, Rashid said in a press conference in capital Islamabad. He also said the government will pursue his release through legal channels.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Security

An Afghan conviction, but little sense of victory

Associated Press Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carrol, left, speaks during the funeral of Anja Niedringhaus in Hoexter, Germany, on April 12, 2014. (AP/Frank Augstein)

Naqibullah, the Afghan police commander who killed The Associated Press' Anja Niedringhaus, has been given a death sentence after being convicted of murder and treason. He was also given a four- year sentence for shooting the AP's Kathy Gannon. Naqibullah (who goes by one name, as many Afghans do) opened fire at near-point-blank range on the AP photographer/reporter team in the southeastern city of Khost on April 4, 2014, as they were covering preparations for the first round of voting in Afghanistan's still-contested presidential elections. Wednesday's conviction and sentencing were the first steps along the legal path to a final conviction and sentence, which might not come for years.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, USA

In the wake of US pullout, Afghan journalists need protection

In the aftermath of this week's foreign policy speech by President Barack Obama and discussions on the imminent pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, we need to think once again of the implications this retreat will have for the thousands of Afghans who for more than a decade have worked not only with the military, but also with U.S.-based non-governmental and media organizations.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Cambodia, France, India, Iraq, Mali, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Syria

Training can help journalists survive captivity

Two murdered journalists for the Africa service of Radio France Internationale, Ghislaine Dupont, 51, and Claude Verlon, 58, might have had a chance. They were abducted on November 2 in Kidal in northern Mali, but the vehicle their captors were driving suddenly broke down, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Internet, Iraq

Endless surprises for Al-Jazeera

Mhamed Krichen/CPJ Board member

There seems to be no end to American surprises when it comes to Al-Jazeera. The latest was revealed by Der Spiegel, the German weekly news magazine, which reported the U.S. National Security Agency hacked into our internal communications system, according to documents provided by Edward Snowden, the former NSA security analyst.

September 12, 2013 2:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan

Monitoring violence against journalists in Afghanistan

The Afghan Journalist Safety Committee, which works closely with CPJ, has just published a report on media conditions and attacks on journalists for the first six months of 2013.

Blog   |   Afghanistan

Afghan journalists in good hands--their own

I've been making the rounds of journalists and organizations in Kabul for the last several days. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been asked to come up with a support plan for journalists after next year's presidential elections, the drawdown of international troops, and an expected reduction in international aid.

Blog   |   Afghanistan

For Afghan journalists, elections, not troops, are key

A man offers evening prayers on a hilltop overlooking Kabul on Wednesday. As the devout mark the holy month of Ramadan, Afghanistan's warlords and powerbrokers must decide on a successor to President Hamid Karzai. (Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

I'm in Kabul for several days, making the rounds of journalists' organizations and media houses. My brief is to see what, if anything, can be done to protect journalists after the withdrawal of NATO troops during and after 2014. But "post-2014" has much different connotations for the Afghans with whom I've spoken or been in email correspondence. They see post-2014 as the period that follows national elections. With foreign troops increasingly staying close to their bases, Afghans are fully aware their future is in their own hands.

July 18, 2013 11:28 AM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan

Hamid Karzai goes conservative on media

As if a faltering media industry and rising risks to endangered journalists as NATO reduces its forces in 2014 aren't bad enough, add in a president pandering to religious conservatives in a pre-presidential election run-up. Reporting from Kabul, Reuters said Wednesday:  

April 26, 2013 2:04 PM ET

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