RealNews

Journalists Still Threatened by Afghan Warlords

Every few days, journalist Zahoor Afghan gets a chilling phone call. “We’ve killed hundreds of people,” the voice says. “We can kill you, too.” The anonymous threats began two weeks ago, when the 40-year-old editor of the Kabul-based daily Erada wrote an article alleging Education Minister Yonis Qanooni spent just two hours a week in his office. The ministry took offense and had Afghan arrested. He was freed after a few hours, but has spent every day since at the state prosecutor’s office, which is trying to build a case against him. Several times, unidentified armed men have knocked on his door at night, threatening to open fire unless they’re let in to search. On the surface, journalists in Afghanistan are enjoying new press freedoms in the post-Taliban era. Newspapers and radio stations have sprung up across the country, and some are leveling rare public critiques against warlords and politicians. But the warlords, some of them in government, still wield immense power – and such critiques can mean jail, beatings and death threats. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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