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World Press Freedom Day: 'Refugee journalists must continue their work'

FRANCE 24 screen grab

To mark World Press Freedom Day, FRANCE 24 speaks with Afghan photojournalist and refugee Mortaza Bebhoudi about the importance of a free press and allowing journalists who have fled threats in their home countries to continue their work.

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At least 95 journalists and media professionals were killed in 2018, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

With 16 deaths last year, Afghanistan remains one of the deadliest countries for journalists.

FRANCE 24 spoke with photojournalist Mortaza Behboudi, who was forced to flee Afghanistan in 2015 as Taliban and Islamic State (IS) group militants stepped up attacks on journalists.

Behboudi ended up on the streets of Paris before finding shelter in the Maison des Journalistes in Paris, an NGO dedicated to supporting journalists who have fled persecution.

He now has official refugee status and says it is essential that refugee journalists be able to continue their work from abroad.

"We cannot understand what is happening in Afghanistan and Syria without the voices of local reporters," Behboudi explained.

"It's very important that refugee journalists continue their work here in France and continue to fight for freedom of the press and freedom of expression," he added.

"Without press freedom, we don't have democracy."

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