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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Raid on Kabul Journalists’ Home an Act of Intimidation

An Afghan police raid on the home of two female journalists in Kabul raises concerns about rising threats to women in public life – in this case from the Kabul police, who seem to have taken a page out of the Taliban’s playbook. At about midnight…
Afghan National Police seen near the Defense Ministry compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 27, 2016. 
News

Ukraine Should Join The 34 Other European States That Have Ratified the Istanbul Convention

Violence against women and girls in Ukraine remains a serious problem. A 2019 study by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Ukraine found that two-thirds of women surveyed said they had “experienced psychological, physical or sexual…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
News

Press Freedom at Risk in Deadliest Country for Journalists

The role Afghanistan’s vibrant media plays in public life represents one of the most significant changes that have taken place in the country since 2001. But that achievement is under threat, as journalists face growing intimidation and…
Policemen help Afghan journalists, victims of a second blast, in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018.
News

Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
News

Suicide Attack Targets First Responders, Journalists

Two years ago, Shah Marai, a photographer for Agence France Presse, described the pain of living in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, with little hope for a better future. “I don’t dare to take my children for a walk,” he wrote.  “All I…
Policemen help Afghan journalists, victims of a second blast, in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018.
News

Alleged Threats, Intimidation Demand Thorough Probe

A purported recording of an encounter between members of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s security detail and a journalist is a troubling reminder of the fragility of the country’s hard-won media freedom. Alyas Tahiri, a…
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attends Afghan Independence Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 18, 2016.
News

Journalists Covering the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine Targeted

Journalists in Ukraine, especially those covering the armed conflict in the east, often put their safety on the line to get their stories out. But in recent months their job became even riskier, and not because of bullets and mortar fire. They are…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses the parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, May 12, 2016.
News
Journalism is an increasingly deadly profession in Afghanistan. That is the chilling message from the Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC), based on statistics it released this week documenting attacks against the media over the past year. …
A cameraman films a news anchor at Tolo TV studio in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 18, 2015.
News
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a presidential decree this week reaffirming the government’s commitment to freedom of expression and protection of media workers. The decree commits the government to expedite investigations of journalists killed since…
Afghan policemen and fire-fighters inspect the wreckage of a minibus in Kabul targeted in a suicide attack that killed seven journalists affiliated with Tolo TV, January 20, 2016.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
News
The photo is shocking. A young woman – 20 years old – lies in a hospital bed, cradling her infant. Where her nose should be is instead a ragged bandage. Her eyes gaze out from over the bandage, looking far away and numb. This is…
Afghan woman Raiza Gul, 20, and whose nose was sliced off by her husband in an attack, lies on a bed with her baby as she receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Faryab on January 19, 2016.
News
The Internet has been long described as an “island of freedom” in Russia’s dramatically shrinking space for free speech – the cyber inheritor of the kitchen, which was the only (relatively) safe place for debate in the Soviet era. But, alarmed by this…
News
Tens of thousands of Afghans have swelled the ranks of those seeking refuge in Europe this year. Second only to Syrians, Afghans represent the next largest group – 13 percent – of those making the journey so far in 2015.   This is because, for…
afghanistan bomb
News
Qasim Muzafari of the Bidar Daily newspaper in Balkh province and Jamshid Hakak of Asia TV in Herat have both experienced the sometimes deadly occupational hazards of Afghan journalism. On August 26 unidentified attackers stabbed Muzafari, who is…
News
The Associated Press (AP) photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus has become the latest victim of violence targeted at media in Afghanistan. Niedringhaus was shot dead on April 4 in eastern Afghanistan’s Khost province while covering preparations for the…
News
Ever since I learned last week that Dmytro Bulatov, a leading Ukrainian activist and a father of three small kids, had disappeared,I have not stopped worrying about whether he was dead or alive. The same day that Bulatov disappeared, another “Maidan”…