Credits: All from AP - from left: Martin Mejia (Lima 2000), David de la Paz (Mexico City 1999), Jose Luis Magana (Mexico City 1998), Nasser Nasser (Ramallah 2002), Srdjan Ilic (Kosovo 1998) & Nasser Nasser (Ramallah 2000).
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May 7, 2010
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INSI Provides Safety Training to Afghan Journalists

Brussels, 21 November - The International News Safety Institute has provided the first-ever safety training to Afghan journalists working in dangerous conditions.

Forty-six media staffers and freelancers from Kabul, Helmand, Kandahar, Khost, Mazar, Herat, Baghlan, and Parwan took part in two two-day workshops from 3 November to 7 November in Kabul. Eight of the participants were women.

Afghanistan is one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists. Since 1996 21 journalists and media staffers have been killed in Afghanistan. The workshop addressed a variety of security issues specific to the country.

Included in the training, provided free of charge, were aspects of personal safety, pre-deployment planning, conflict management, hostile crowd situations, ballistic awareness, safety from fire-arms, passage through checkpoints, and coping with kidnapping. Basic first aid skills were imparted and all participants were given first aid kits.

The project was supported by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Finnish Foundation for Media, Communication and Development, the European Broadcasting Union, The Guardian, the BBC and Associated Press Television. The project was started off two years ago by Alessio Vinci of CNN after he won the Maria Grazia Cutuli Prize (awarded by the Corriere della Sera). He donated the $5,000 prize money to INSI for safety work with Afghan journalists.

“The original impetus for this critical project came from Alessio,” said INSI Director Rodney Pinder.

“We owe a great debt to his selfless desire to help less fortunate colleagues working in conditions of great danger, largely unheralded and unsung. Alesso noticed and did something real to help.

“I would also like to thank the BBC, the EBU, AP Television and the Finnish government for rallying around to make Alessio’s dream of helping Afghan journalists a reality.”

INSI worked with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association, and the Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists, who provided local support. Security issues were taught by a British trainer from AKE Ltd, a security and training company based in the United Kingdom.

INSI is a non-governmental organisation established on 3 May 2003 by a unique coalition of news organisations, journalist support groups and humanitarian campaigners concerned by the rising numbers of journalists killed around the world. So far this year, 166 journalist and support staff have died.

INSI now has provided safety training free of charge to 731 journalists and support staff in 16 countries.

For further information about this news release and other INSI training please contact Project Manager Sarah de Jong, email sarah.dejong@newssafety.com tel: +32 2 235 22 01



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