RSF condemns deadly attack on state radio and TV in Jalalabad

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its concern about the safety of journalists and media outlets in Afghanistan after a deadly attack today on the provincial branch of the national radio and TV broadcaster in Jalalabad, the capital of the eastern province of Nangarhar. It was claimed by Islamic State.

Attacks against the media by the Taliban and Islamic State (also known as Daesh) have been growing in intensity.

Today’s attack on the radio and TV station in Jalalabad was carried out at around 10:30 a.m. by at least three armed suicide bombers. It killed at least six people, including four of its employees, and wounded 15 others, Nangarhar governor Mohammad Goulab Mangal said. It also caused a great deal of material damage.

Several media outlets have been attacked in the past two years in Jalalabad. The regional bureaux of the independent Afghan news agency Pajhwok and US government-funded Voice of America radio were attacked on 12 June 2015. The building that houses Radio Safa, a local station, and the regional office of Radio Killid was badly damaged by a homemade bomb on the night of 10 October 2015.

Neither of these attacks was claimed but Islamic State has a presence in the region and had already threatened various media outlets and journalists.

RSF calls on the Afghan government to take concrete measures to protect journalists. The National Security Council adopted a Procedure for the Safety and Protection of Journalists at a meeting chaired by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on 23 August 2016.

However, despite the government’s efforts, neither this procedure nor other measures envisaged by the authorities to improve the safety of journalists, have been applied.

Afghanistan is ranked 120th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.