As the coronavirus spreads in Afghanistan, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists (CPAWJ) are concerned about its impact on the country’s journalists, especially women journalists, who are more vulnerable. They are threatened by economic precarity, the lack of protection and fierce competition between media outlets in the race for the news. Afghanistan is ranked 121st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Protecting journalists Armed conflictsWomenInternet – Ensure that the media outlet’s medical service checks crews about to be sent to suspected infection sites to ensure that none of them has any inappropriate medical condition such as asthma, diabetes or a cold. Report at all costs RSF asks International Criminal Court to investigate murders of journalists in Afghanistan AfghanistanAsia – Pacific Protecting journalists Armed conflictsWomenInternet These difficulties are compounded by economic problems, which have forced many media outlets to lay off journalists or switch to part-time working without pay, with women journalists often the first to be laid off. In some provinces, including Kabul, Herat and Balkh, some women journalists have been asked to work on a volunteer basis, while others have been laid off. Receive email alerts On 30 March, the health ministry reported 196 cases of Covid-19 in Afghanistan – 106 of them in Herat – and at least five deaths. Local journalists believe the real figures are much higher. Neighbouring Iran, where the WHO reports a major outbreak, is refusing to treat Afghan refugees without legal status, with the result that more than 70,000 had reportedly returned to Afghanistan via the provinces of Herat and Nimroz by 20 March. Afghanistan’s frail public health system relies above all on funding by the United States (via USAID), the World Bank and the European Commission. As the US is conditioning assistance to the Afghan government on its peace efforts, the current fraught political situation means the health system is weaker than normal. May 3, 2021 Find out more Recommendations: Organisation – Protect reporting staff in the field by providing them with face masks, gloves and disinfectant gel and wipes to clean equipment and work stations, so that they can report the news while staying healthy and not spreading the virus. Similar measures have been taken at the TV channel Zan (Woman), where the newsroom’s personnel are now teleworking. Several international media outlets have nonetheless been forced to lay off staff, especially in the provinces, and women journalists have been the first to be affected by the economies and the dismissals. April 2, 2020 Information in Afghanistan, Covid-19 adds to problems from war “We are continuing to work despite the economic difficulties resulting from the epidemic,” he said. “Most of our journalists are teleworking and we communicate via WhatsApp or other information sharing methods. It’s the same in the regions, where only the absolutely essential reporters are going into the field. We managed to buy protective material for our journalists but we had to lay off some of them without pay.” – Increase Internet bandwidth so that journalists and media outlets are guaranteed a constant connection at an affordable cost. For media and journalists- Guarantee the public’s right to full, independent, diverse and quality news reporting, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and ensure the flow of information needed to protect the population. Several media outlet such as Tolo News, Afghanistan’s biggest TV news channel, have adopted specific protection measures for their women employees. “After fighting tirelessly for 19 years to report the news despite the war, Afghan journalists must now combat another calamity in the form of the virus,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Afghanistan /Iran desk. “They must urgently be given the resources to do their job so that they can continue to cover the peace talks and the reality of the pandemic in Afghanistan.” Afghanistan : “No just and lasting peace in Afghanistan without guarantees for press freedom” News Situation getting more critical for Afghan women journalists, report says “Our job is to inform the public properly in order to better combat the spread of Covid-19,” Tolo News chief Lotfullah Najafizadeh said. “Nearly 30% of our staff, who are not directly related to news, have switched to teleworking, while pregnant women and young mothers have been urged to suspend working. We have trained journalists about the health measures to take while working, and we have distributed masks and disinfectant gel. All this without any help from the government.” News “One of the government’s priorities is to provide transparent information and prevent any attempts to hide the truth about the virus’s spread,” Vice-President Sarwar Danesh said. “This is why we have created the special committee for combatting Covid-19, which comprises several government entities as well as bringing in the private sector. Its mission is to provide information to the news media and social media, which have a key role to play in this crisis. To offset the [press conference] coverage ban and to avoid gatherings, the government is making videos available to the media and is talking via teleconference.” – Ensure that every journalist adheres to the rules of journalistic ethics, especially at a time when when “fake news” can have serious consequences. – Provide reporters with cellophane or another protective material for microphones, and microphone poles to maintain a distance with interviewees; encourage the use of autonomous crews to reduce toing and froing between the field and headquarters; ensure that each crew keeps using the same equipment; ban the use of clip-on microphones because they are too close to the mouth, and disinfect microphones after use; encourage the use of video chat apps such as Skype and Facetime for interviews. Always respect physical distancing rules. Help by sharing this information Double jeopardy for women to go further Although the Afghan government has adopted public health measures such as a lockdown in certain cities such as Kabul and Kandahar and some media outlets have switched to teleworking, the virus continues to spread and journalists are often exposed. Spreading virus Follow the news on Afghanistan June 2, 2021 Find out more News – Make facemasks and disinfect gel and wipes available to the media. For the government- Make special resources available to the media so they can fulfil their mission of reporting the news, including economic assistance to media outlets in difficulty; cancel taxes for the current year, and guarantee the salaries of journalists who have been partially laid off, especially women journalists, who are two-fold victims of this situation. “Women journalist are not just the first victims of the climate of insecurity and the war but also the most exposed to Covid-19, as they are denied the resources for taking care of themselves,” CPAWJ director Farida Nekzad said. “We tallied 1,741 women working for Afghan media outlets on 8 March, 1,139 of them professional journalists. The authorities must do everything possible to ensure that all these women can continue to do their work of reporting the news.” RSF_en To combat the spread of the epidemic, a lockdown in Kabul and certain other major cities such as Herat, the epidemic’s epicentre, was announced by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on 28 March. News – Do not force journalists to go out reporting in the absence of the necessary safety conditions. Allow them the right to pull out if they think there is a danger for themselves or anyone else, and ensure that managers and editors respect such decisions. The virus is not discouraging Pajhwok Afghan News agency chief Danish Karokhel, who is under lockdown with 15 of his employees at the agency’s headquarters in order to keep reporting. March 11, 2021 Find out more
Topics : The first case of coronavirus in Serbia has been diagnosed in a man who had been in Hungary, the country’s health minster announced on Friday. “The first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Serbia. It is a 43-year-old man from Subotica [north] who recently stayed in Hungary, in Budapest,” said Zlatibor Loncar at a press conference. The man is in solitary confinement at the Subotica hospital and his health is good, the minister said. The people with whom he came into contact have been tested. “There is no need to panic, you have to behave in accordance with the authorities’ recommendations,” added the minister who said the patient behaved “responsibly”.Serbia is the fourth country comprising the former Yugoslavia to have reported cases of infection following Croatia (11 cases), North Macedonia (one case) and Bosnia (two cases). The virus, which now affects around 90 countries and territories, has infected more than 98,000 people worldwide and left nearly 3,400 people dead. At 0900 GMT Friday, Europe had registered 5,701 cases with 161 deaths, all but 13 of those in Italy.
Kick-off time is 9pm at the Stade MMArena.Todayâ€™s game is an interesting one with Nigeria a mix of veterans and upcoming stars, while France, who finished in fourth place at the FIFA World Cup finals in Germany seven years ago, also boast a number of new prospects.Falconsâ€™ Head Coach, Thomas Dennerby, who had been in France three days before the contingent landed on Wednesday is expected to use the game to try out fresh invitees to spice up the team.All 18 players, including Holland-based Sophia Omotola Omidiji, a late call-up, had a light work out at the Le Clos Fleuri ground at 10am and later followed with a tougher session in the evening at the Le Mans Stadium.Nigeriaâ€™s Falcons have won eight of the 10 editions of the Women Africa Cup of Nations staged to date, and have represented Africa at all editions of the FIFA Womenâ€™s World Cup since the first competition was held in China 27 years ago.While Skipper Rita Chikwelu, Josephine Chukwunonye, Faith Ikidi, Ugo Njoku, Osinachi Ohale, Ngozi Okobi, Francis Ordega and Desire Oparanozie have been everywhere and seen it all, goalkeepers Onyinyechukwu Okeke and Chiamaka Nnadozie, as well as Glory Ogbonna and Anam Imo are starry-eyed and looking to notch senior caps.The match comes just days after the Super Eagles concluded the first phase of their 2018 FIFA World Cup actual build-up with useful encounters against Poland in Wroclaw and Serbia in London, and the Under-20 boys concluded a two-match tour of the Arab Republic of Egypt.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLYOlawale Ajimotokan in AbujaNigeriaâ€™s senior women national team, Super Falcons, is scheduled to take on France today in an international friendly in the city of Le Mans, west of France.