Journalists Call for Access to Official Information

Journalists Call for Access to Official Information

Journalists complained about the lack of access to information, saying that despite the Islamic Emirate's introduction of several spokespersons to the government departments, access to information remains an obstacle.   

The deputy minister of information and culture, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that the new spokespersons would begin activities after they had undergone some basic training.   

“As long as we are responsible, the cases are under investigation. Some of the people who were negligent toward the media were punished and introduced to the judicial system, but we haven’t seen a big issue yet. There was some negligence for some reasons,” he said. “Some of the spokespeople who are appointed, before they go to work, they will be trained for the media, and after they graduate from the workshops they will be in direct contact with the media.”  

They called on officials of the Islamic Emirate to take steps to resolve the problem faced by the journalists.  

“In the current situation, with the coming of the Islamic Emirate--as this government is new--it has not introduced the spokespeople for the ministries. We have seen that the journalists are facing problems accessing information,” said journalist Rohullah Haqpal.  

The media watchdogs also voiced concerns over the restriction of information to the media. Watchdog groups called restriction of information the main obstacle for the media, saying that many media outlets halted operations due to imposed restrictions on freedom of speech.  

Based on initial findings, nearly 200 media organizations stopped their activities after the collapse of the former government. 

"It is really concerning. We call on international organizations that support the freedom of speech and media, and on the countries that have helped in the past, to support and back the Afghan media; otherwise, we will witness a great obstacle in the path of access to information in Afghanistan," said Hojatullah Mujadidi, deputy of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association.  

According to media watchdog organizations, more than 70 percent of Afghan journalists lost their jobs since the fall of the former government.