Any Attack on Media a War Crime: Afghan Media

Any Attack on Media a War Crime: Afghan Media

October 13, 2015

Kabul: The Afghan media collectively on Tuesday said they will not bow to the threats of the Taliban following the group ‘s statement and video issued on Monday against TOLO TV and 1TV، which included death threats against all staff.

In addition to the death threat, the Taliban threatened to destroy all facilities belonging to the two TV channels.

Taliban in an alarming statement published on the group website on Monday said the two TV channels are legitimate targets and no employee، anchor، office، news team and reporter of both is safe henceforth.

According to the Khama press، the statement states “Tolo TV and 1 TV channels are spearheads among these propaganda networks tasked with promoting the intellectual، cultural and information invasion of the infidels in Afghanistan. These networks with the complete backing of the Americans ridicule our religious and cultural norms، encourage obscenity and lewdness، inject the minds of youth with dangerous substances such as irreligiousness، immorality، violence، gambling، intermixing and profanity and specifically spread propaganda filled with hate and open enmity against Jihad and Mujahideen.”

Addressing a press conference in Kabul, Fahim Dashti on behalf of the Afghan media and media watchdog organizations said the Taliban “has categorized TOLO TV and 1TV as their enemy and military targets and issued death threats against all staff and threatened the two institutions and their facilities”.

“Afghan media، media activists، unions، media watchdog organizations and other media support institutions consider the threat not limited to the two named TV channels، but a threat to all of Afghanistan” s media family and to the country’s press freedom - which is one of the key achievements of the past 14 years” he said.

“We believe the Afghan people expect the Afghan media not to bow to such threats and to continue on their mission of informing people based on journalism ethics.”

He went on to say media organizations are not one of the warring sides, but are instead civilian organizations. “Whenever the Taliban or any other group has complaints، they can adopt peaceful means، because any attack on media and journalists is considered a war crime،” he added.

“We announce that in the event of such threats continuing or any journalists or media organizations harmed by the Taliban or any other group، our first reaction will be to boycott their news coverage.”

He said Afghan media once again emphasizes its commitment to democratic values and professional journalistic ethics, primarily ensuring impartiality and balance in their publications.

In conclusion he said: “We call on the Afghan government، national and international organizations to extend their maximum support to Afghan media and journalists، making their security and immunity a top priority.