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Afghanistan: Journalist from Enekaas TV, Representative of the Afghan Center for the Protection of Women Journalists in Jalalabad, Assassinated

Photo Courtesy: RFA

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the targeted assassination of journalist Malalai Maiwand and calls on the Afghan authorities to come out of their inaction to protect journalists in the country.

Journalist Malalai Maiwand , 30, and her driver, Taher Khan , were killed on Thursday, December 10 by two gunmen in Jalalabad, in the east of the country. The young woman died instantly. His driver succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The attack took place while the journalist was on his way to the offices of the private television channel Enekaas TV , for which she had worked for eight years.

Malalai Maiwand was also the representative of the Afghan Center for the Protection of Women Journalists (CPAWJ) in Jalalabad. Its director, Farideh Neekzad, describes her ” as a courageous and active woman, one of the first CPAWJ activists, who was not afraid to inform and report the truth in a region which is constantly under pressure from enemies. women’s rights and freedom of expression . The CPAWJ is an Afghan organization created by and for women journalists. Its vocation is to support and protect these journalists, especially those who work in the most remote provinces of Afghanistan and who are, as such, particularly vulnerable.

“ Malalai Maiwand was more than just a journalist. Her involvement with the CPAWJ made her a role model for many Afghan journalists. His assassination, on the very day the world celebrates Human Rights Day, is all the more odious and shocking , says RSF Iran-Afghanistan office official Reza Moïni. This murder also adds to the long list of targeted attacks against Afghan journalists and is a cruel reminder of the urgent need for the Afghan authorities to take immediate action to guarantee and strengthen the safety of media professionals in the country . ”

Contacted by RSF, the director of Enekaas TV , Zalmie Latifi confirmed that its media had received repeated threats in recent months, indicating that they were aimed not individual journalists but the media in general. For his part, the head of the committee for verifying complaints against journalists to the Minister of the Interior, Najibollah Maghsoudi, said that the committee had not registered any threats against Malalai Maiwand in particular. Taliban spokesman Zabiholah Mojahed, for his part, denied his group’s responsibility for the attack.

This is the second assassination targeting a journalist in Afghanistan in less than a month. Mohammad Aliyas Dayee , who worked in the Pashtun section of Radio Azadi (Radio Free Europe, RFE), was killed in a car bomb on November 12 in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province.

Afghanistan is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index by RSF.   

Copyright ©2016, Reporters Without Borders. Used with the permission of Reporters Without Borders(RSF), CS 90247 75083 Paris Cedex 02 https://rsf.org

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Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

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But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they a.re developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

Without evidence or with fake evidence, a conspiracy theory will always remain a conspiracy theory.

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