AFGHANISTAN: Historic elections continued, despite threats of violence


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In the face of government threats to close any domestic or international media outlets that cover election violence, Afghans and other observers turned to alternative means to report on dangers and triumphs of the country’s presidential elections.

Here are a just a few of Babylon & Beyond’s favorite Twitter feeds, blogs and websites for following the Afghan elections:


Alive in Afghanistan is a multimedia reporting project that solicits reports by way of SMS, e-mail and Twitter from ordinary Afghanis and posts them alongside reports by professional journalists from the Pajhwok Afghan News agency.

Verified reports were then posted on an interactive map, allowing users to access the latest reports of polling center closings, explosions, rocket attacks and intimidation.

Although, as the founders of the site readily admit, only a minority of Afghanis know how to use the site and have access to it, it’s still a great resource for real-time election news from Afghanistan.

On Twitter, Afghani freelance journalist Bashir Ahmad Gwakh tweeted concise yet evocative updates regularly.

‘Ppl in Noristan r riding donkey’s and horses to reach polling statons,’ reads a post from early this afternoon.

For photos of Afghanis heading to the polls, check out the Afghanistan page of citizen journalism photo agency Demotix.


-- Meris Lutz in Beirut

Photos: At top: Extra security measures are taken as the Taliban threatens to target elections. Credit: Aziz Zahed / Fars News Agency. Middle: Live in Afghanistan posts citizens’ texts alongside news agency reports. Bottom: Afghani women face additional challenges to voting; besides the general threat of violence, their movement is often severely restricted. Credit: Aziz Zahed / Fars News Agency