Just how hazardous is it to report in Afghanistan? A graphic new picture of the sometimes lethal dangers facing journalists, mostly Afghan, over the past ten years details what we’ve all expected – it’s bad and getting worse.
The interactive map -- which highlights cases of harassment, beatings, kidnappings and other dangers, including murder – was just released by Nai, a media development organization based in Kabul. Nai collected the data on the 266 security incidents recorded (so far).
Each event includes a suspect: On May 27, 2006, for example, a male journalist from Aina TV was beaten on his way to parliament in Kabul, allegedly by the “president’s security officers.” In fact, sundry government officials are accused of carrying out a majority of the physical attacks, and issuing the most threats, the data shows.
“This interactive map enables us to tell the story of the struggles journalists face daily in Afghanistan, reaching potentially millions of people across the world - at a glance!” said Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Director of Nai. “Prior to this our detailed records of threats against journalists were published in reports and through radio, but could not convey the message so simply and succinctly,” said Khalvatgar.
Mousing over the map, for example, gives users the historical trend for a particular area where an attack has occurred. Data can be filtered by year, and viewed by province. The site also provides easily accessible information on the number of attacks, the media organization and gender of those targeted, and a safety index.
Nai is supported by Internews. (Full disclosure: In 2004-2005 I worked for Internews in Afghanistan.)