Afghanistan: reporters ignore gov's threats and censorship orders on election eve

Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry declared Tuesday that news organizations are prohibited from "broadcasting any incidence of violence" while polls are open on election day, "to ensure the wide participation of the Afghan people." Elections take place tomorrow. Snip from AP report:
A separate statement from the Interior Ministry said journalists should stay away from the scene of any attacks until investigators have a chance to collect evidence.

Even before the ban went into effect, police beat back journalists arriving at the scene of an attack on a Kabul bank Wednesday. They threatened reporters with loaded guns pointed in their faces and hit others with batons and the butts of rifles, according to journalists from The Associated Press at the scene.

One officer yelled "Your pictures help the enemy! Why are you helping them?" at an AP reporter as he shoved him back.

Over the last few days, journalists responding to attacks in the capital have reported increasingly rough treatment. On Tuesday, a police officer beat a photographer with his pistol at the site of a bomb attack on a NATO convoy, according to an AP photographer.

Afghan media refuse to censor election reporting (Associated Press, via @dangillmor)

Image: poster promoting Afghanistan citizen participation in the elections, found on the blog of a UK Foreign and Commonwealth representative in Afghanistan.


  1. I believe the Afghan authorities are well within their rights to threaten members of the media if they have issued an order for information blackout prior to the elections.

    I love the mental image of the police pointing loaded guns at reporters… this should happen more often.

    Just because some a-hole brand-name reporter flew into Afghanistan yesterday to get their ‘big scoop’ on the elections doesn’t mean they can blatantly ignore rules and regulations. They are just gonna fly out a week later and forget everything – they feign compassion/interest, but really just want ratings.

    The media are (for the most part) scum. They don’t care about anything but themselves.


  2. Isn’t this just an extreme version of election day silence? The order sounds bizzare, but it sadly seems on par with the reality out there. They (the taliban ‘opposition’) don’t have to cook up some scandal story to sway the woters on election day, they can just make a bang.

Comments are closed.