Six Month Report (January – June 2014)
13 Aug, 2014

2014 is considered one of the vital years for Afghanistan and the future of freedom of speech in the country. This year will mark the first peaceful transition of political power from one elected President to another, in which media is playing a key role. Meanwhile, the attitude and approach of the upcoming administration towards journalism and freedom of speech will determine the future of freedom of speech in this country.
Challenges ahead of journalists have been on the rise during this year thus increasing threats against freedom of expression in Afghanistan. Additionally, since the candidates of the presidential elections did not have a clear and meaningful agenda for freedom of speech and treated the matter more like a marginal issue, concerns have enhanced as to how this achievement can be preserved.
This is the third six-month report published by Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC), which investigates journalists’ safety during the first six months of 2014. Meanwhile, the report also briefly touches upon other aspects of journalism because of their intimate connection with journalists’ safety with aims to provide the readers with a broader picture of the safety matters.
It is worth mentioning that recording of cases of violence against media workers has been done based on AJSC’s policies and procedures. This means AJSC uses a specific definition for journalists and media workers; hence, it does not record the cases in which the legal status of the victim does not conform to the mentioned definition.
Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) is an independent Afghan structure dedicated to enhancing safety and protection of Afghan media workers and international reporters working in Afghanistan. AJSC works under the umbrella of Afghanistan New Generation Organization.
AJSC was formed based on the recommendation of Kabul Conference on Freedom of Expression, which was organized in March 2009 by International Media Support (IMS).
AJSC has a board of advisors composed of well-known media workers and civil society activists. AJSC’s executive section has official representatives in eight regions of the country and an unofficial focal point in the remaining 26 provinces. This has enabled AJSC to establish representation throughout the country and provide media workers with necessary help when needed. The services AJSC offers ranges from hotlines to advocacy for safety of journalists and freedom of expression.