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We, the Ambassadors and Heads of Missions of the European Union and its Member States and the Head of the Norwegian Mission based in Kabul, express our appreciation to all media workers who have been bravely contributing to raise public awareness on countless matters in Afghanistan over the years.
We are deeply concerned by repeated abuse, criminal and targeted attacks being committed against journalists and employees of media outlets in Afghanistan. We are alarmed by the threats and deteriorating working conditions for journalists and the amount of physical and psychological violence they endure. This has turned Afghanistan into one of the most dangerous places in the world for media workers. The continuous threats by the Taliban and other parties to the conflict against the media professionals, who are civilians, must stop.
The right to seek, receive and impart information as well as the freedom to hold opinions without interference are basic human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Afghanistan is a party. We promote these values and will continue to strongly support them.
Press freedom plays a crucial role in promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, also during electoral processes. Free, diverse and independent media, both online and offline, are pillars of open and peaceful societies, and bear the great responsibility to guarantee access to verified information to the public. It is one of the gains of the past 18 years that makes Afghanistan stand out in the region. It must be preserved.