Unprecedented Backslide in Access to Information in Afghanistan

Bayan Nesw – Simultaneously with the World Day for Access to Information, several media support organizations have expressed concerns about the increasing restrictions on media personnel and stated that the interim Kabul government has severely limited the flow of information through the issuance of 13 directives.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center stated in a statement today, (September 28), that although the Access to Information Law has been announced by the interim Kabul government, it is not taken seriously and efforts are being made to amend this law.

According to the statement, these directives have not been issued by a unified authority and have not gone through the usual legal procedures, but they are based on the governing policy in dealing with the media and journalists.

According to the Afghanistan Journalists Center, the directives of the interim Kabul government encompass all media activities, including covering the faces of female journalists, prohibiting attendance at theater performances and entertainment, banning interviews between women and men, and more.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center stated that the implementation of these directives has serious consequences for media work, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and severe restrictions on access to information and self-censorship are among its major consequences.

The organization stated that Taliban officials rarely grant interviews with the media, and official spokespersons of the group are not easily accessible to all journalists or tend to refrain from answering serious and profound questions.

According to the statement by the Afghanistan Journalists Center, the Taliban have threatened or imprisoned journalists who have disregarded these directives, and the media outlets have faced punitive measures, including temporary and permanent shutdowns.

It should be noted that officials of the interim Kabul government have consistently stated over the past two years that the current system is committed to freedom of expression based on Islamic values.

Related Articles

Back to top button