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Special court needed to tackle violences against reporters: ARC

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 Due to increasing violences against reporters, the officials of Afghanistan Reporters’ Center (ARC) asks the government to create a special court to prosecute factors of violence against reporters and mediamen.
ARC authorities said that media work is a special business and it is needed that media experts should prosecute and trial violators on violence against reporters.
Addressing a celebration ceremony of reporters’ day, chief executive of ARC Ahmad Quraishi said, the government should seriously support media, a transparent and fair mechanism for support of media should be arranged and special court for trial of perpetration of violence against reporters should be setup so arbitrary murder and detention of reporters be stopped.
Based on ARC reports, since 1383 H.S totally 91 reporters and media workers have lost their lives as over 90 percent of perpetrators have been exempted from punishment. Although the joint committee of media and government has carried out certain works but punishment of perpetrators of violence against reporters has not been serious.
According to ARC annual report, in 1396, over 161 cases of violences, insultation, threatening and intimidation of reporters and subversive attacks against media facilities have been recorded in different provinces that shows considerable increase than 1395.
The recorded data by ARC show that in 1396 about 14 reporters and media workers were killed and at least 75 injured. Based on ARC, in incident of Dec 20.2017 nine employees of Saday-e-Afghan News Agency (AWA) including commentators, editors, media trainers lost live. In this incident Sayed Mehdi Moosawi reporter of Jamhoor News Agency was also killed and 17 reporters and media workers were injured. 
The report adds that in attack on Shamshad TV, one guard was killed and about 20 others injured. In celebration ceremony of a political figure, a cameraman of Rah-e-Farda was killed and its reporter was injured. In a VBIED attack in Zanbaq circle, 4 reporters were killed and at least 13 were injured.
In a separate attack on RTV in Jalalabad, 4 technical employees were killed and a driver was seriously injured. In an attack of armedmen on the vehicle of RTV in Barikot district, Nangarhar province, reporter and cameraman were injured and a police driver was killed. In a separate attack in Baghlan province, director of Tanwir TV and his bodyguard injured, and his driver was killed. One Iranian reporter was killed in an attack on Iraqi embassy.
Quraishi went on to say, in 1393, over 15 reporters were arrested and the officials of ARC have recorded 27 cases of physical violence, 23 cases of insulation and 18 cases of threat, direct and indirect exertion of pressure. ISIL has claimed responsibility of 16 murders as Taliban claimed 5 cases of murders. Out of 75 cases of injuries, ISIL claimed 46 cases and Taliban claimed responsibility of 13 cases. The ARC report shows that 23 cases of insults have taken place by presidential bodyguards. Out of 18 insults, 10 cases took place by security forces and police, 6 by Taliban. Out of 15 cases of arrests, 6 cases by government, 3 cases by NDS, 2 cases by police, 2 cases by ANA, 2 cases by NGOs, as one employee of Radio Kleed is still in detention.
He added, other challenges ahead of reporters and mediamen include lack of health insurance.