| ||Cases of slain journalists remain unresolved: Nai|
By Khwaja Baser Ahmad
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KABUL - A media support organisation on Thursday said 77 incidents of violence against journalists were reported over the past year, but cases of slain journalists remained unresolved.
Siddiqullah Tawhidi, the head of Nai, told a function marking International Day of Press Freedom in Kabul that the incidents of violence took place from May, 3, 2011 to date. During the period, four journalists were killed, he said.
The slain reporters included Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, a Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) correspondent, Farhad Taqaddusi, a cameraman with Press TV, Jafar Mehdavi, a Kala Gosh Radio journalist, and Sadim Khan Bahadarzai, head of the Melma Radio in Paktika.
Another seven journalists were injured, three detained, 24 beaten up, 19 insulted, 20 threatened by government officials, rebels, NATO-led troops, common people and unknown individuals.
He warned if journalists failed to defend themselves, the nascent Afghan media would face more challenges in the future. Over the past 10 years, he added, 31 journalists had been killed. But 90 percent of cases, including murders, are yet to be resolved.
"If a journalist ignores professional ethics, there is a commission which moves against them, but nobody is bothered about addressing the cases of killed journalists," he lamented.
But Deputy Information and Culture Minister Din Mohammad Mubarez Rashidi insisted the government had taken measures to ensure press freedom and it would continue to support the media. He said press freedom had improved in the country, despite many challenges.
A fund called "Sandoqi Mirasi Khabar Nigaran" -- a joint initiative of Nai and Internews -- has been set up to assist families of slain journalists, with media employees donating funds to it.
Meanwhile, Najiba Feroz and Fariba -- working with the BBC -- received awards of best reporter, Javed Jurat from One TV and Shahpoor Bakhtiar from TOLO were given awards of best anchor.
Also Mubina Khair Andesh, the director of Rabia Balkhi Radio, was given away the best director award, Syed Anwar (BBC) the best producer award. Qari Mujtaba from One TV received the award of best cameraman.