Afghanistan: journalist harassed during the national electionEvent
- Initial Date
- Sep 29, 2019
- Event Description
Multiple media violations against journalists were recorded during the fourth round of Afghanistan’s presidential elections on Saturday, September 28. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its Afghanistan affiliate, the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) in highlighting the challenges for journalists in covering elections and calls for stronger efforts to stop election-related violations that impact the media’s ability to report.
According to AIJA, at least three journalists were attacked during the weekend election, which was covered by local and international media in various parts of Afghanistan. AIJA also fielded at least ten complaints by journalists regarding access to information, access to voting sites and telecommunications shutdowns.
In the early hours of September 29, the journalists Maqbol Noori, of Salam Watandar, reported he was threatened and humiliated and his phone taken when the brother of the chief of the provincial council of Parwan province entered the Jul Saraj voting site with his bodyguards. The incident occurred when the journalist requested to take a picture of him. His phone was later returned when police were called in to intervene.
Blocking of access to reporting was also recorded in the first hours of the election at around 10 am in provinces including Kabul, Khost, Bamyian, Balkh and Faryab. AIJA reported that some issues were resolved with the help of Afghanistan’s election commission and other security agencies. One complaint recorded by journalist Said Ismail Sadat, of Sima radio, in Samangan province was that media were denied access to report during vote counting at a local school voting site at Ajani Malika.
In a statement AIJA said it “appreciates efforts of Independent Election commission for cooperation with media which lead to unprecedented coverage of elections and hopes that these problems will not be seen in future elections.”
The IFJ said: “With further voting still to come in Afghanistan’s presidential election campaign, we call on Afghanistan’s election commission and security forces to ensure that all officials are educated and trained to respect the importance of transparency, safety and access to information for the country’s media during elections.”
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Intimidation and threats
- Rights Concerned
- Media freedom
- Right to work
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 29 September 2019, in Parwan Province, Afghnistan, the journalist Maqbol Noori was threatened, vilified and got his mobile seized while covering the national election, by the bodyguards of the brother of the provincial council's chief.