HE Hamid Karzai President of the Republic
Kabul - Afghanistan
Paris, 11 June 2008
Dear Mr. President,
Reporters Without Borders urges you, on the eve of tomorrow's conference in Paris on Afghanistan's development and reconstruction, to give a clear undertaking that your government will protect press freedom, which is currently under so much threat in your country.
Press freedom has, it is true, been one of the achievements of reconstruction in the almost seven years since the fall of the Taliban regime. Afghanistan has around 300 newspapers, 14 of them dailies, more than 10 privately-owned TV and radio stations and seven news agencies. Afghanistan has never had so many news media and journalists. But violence against the press is growing steadily. In the past 12 months, Reporters Without Borders has registered no fewer that 18 physical attacks on journalists, 23 death threats, 14 arrests and four abductions. Dozens of other journalists have been forced to resign because of outside pressure.