21 June 2018

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Saturday May 5, 2018
Kabul (BNA) Addressing an event to mark World Press Freedom Day at the Press Hall of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah said: “In fact the Taliban is a criminal group and despite NUG’s repeated demands for peace and negotiation, they refuse, and with the continuation of the crimes, it became possible for other terrorist groups to be placed in Afghanistan and to be able to commit such crimes.”
The event was attended by acting minister of information and culture Prof. Mohammad Rasoul Bawari, deputy minister of publication Fazel Sancharaki, UNESCO representative to Kabul and a number of journalists and government officials.
Dr. Abdullah said terrorist groups were targeting the Afghan people under different names. ”Terrorist groups, all of them, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, under different names, have repeated the crimes in the past and today, one group will take responsibility for committing crimes against the people of Afghanistan,” Dr. Abdullah added.
Praising braveries and sacrifices of the Afghan journalists and media outlets, Dr. Abdullah said enemies were trying to target the main achievements of Afghanistan, which according to him media and freedom of expression is among them.
Dr. Abdullah referred to the Afghanistan’s Federation of Journalists’ statement and said that all their suggestions and demands are accepted and supported by the NUG.
“All the recommendations are accepted by the leadership of the national unity government and you will see practical action,” said Dr. Abdullah.
In addition, Dr. Abdullah said that when the Taliban launched their spring operations four days ago, there were probably 400 threats, but only 80 threats were launched, and other Taliban’s threats were foiled.
In conclusion, Dr. Abdullah asked the people of Afghanistan to stand united against the enemies of the country.
“If the people of Afghanistan all together do not convey united messages to the enemies of Afghanistan and do not condemn the enemy, then the enemy will be allowed to become open to crime. And unfortunately, we did not see this happen on a national level.”
Meanwhile delivering his remarks, acting minister of information and culture Prof. Mohammad Rasoul Bawari extended condolences to the families of the victim journalists, adding government’s main goal was development and that would not happen sans media’s cooperation.
Minister Bawari said Ministry of Information and Culture was supporting freedom of expression, adding in line with the country’s constitution and government’s instruction MoIC would spare no effort to pave the way for free media activity in the country.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s message was readout by the deputy presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi, saying the world press Freedom Day was being marked at the time that media society and Afghan people mourning martyrs of the journalists.
“The terrorists with targeting democratic process like elections and targeting of journalists and schools have committed inhuman acts and is indeed war crime,” President Ghani said in his statement.
Representing the Afghanistan Journalists Federation, Sediqullah Tawhidi asked government to guarantee safety of journalists while covering war related incidents and prosecute those behind the deadly attacks.
UNESCO representative in Kabul also read-out message of the organization’s secretary general, saying the attack was the deadliest in the country and that the organization was condemning the heinous attack of the militants.
The session was followed with a panel discussion attended by Deputy Minister of Publication, Mawlana Abdullah, Khenjani in charge of One Tv, Zwak in charge of Kabul News Tv and Shafiqa Habibi head of Women Supporting Association, where they discussed the ongoing situation of the media and the threats existed for them.
On Monday Daesh militants carried out two suicide bombings in Kabul, where 29 people including nine journalists were killed and nearly 50 others wounded.

Saturday May 5, 2018

Kabul (BNA) In the presence of Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh, World Press Freedom Day marked in Kabul the other day, Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported.
In a ceremony held by Journalists Safety Committee, congratulating the day to all world journalists VP Danesh pointed out that the journalists enjoy special position all over the world, according to the agency.
Calling Saur 10, a dark day to journalists, VP Danesh stressed that Afghanistan’s enemies with conducting such terrorist attacks would make criminal and murdering case heavier, BNA added.
He pointed out that this day was a very distressful day to all of us, the agency went on to say.
Thanking international community’s widespread reaction on Kabul’s Saur 10 terrorist attack, second vice president said this was not enough, adding we expect the international community particularly human rights agencies, media and freedom of expression supporting entities as well as the United Nations and other world independent countries to adapt practical measures and pressure the terrorist groups and their foreign supporters.
He added these countries and international entities should join hands and bring the terrorists to justice due to their antihuman crimes.

Thursday May 3, 2018

Kabul (BNA) The Media Support Organization in Afghanistan – NAI has assured that violence against media workers has reduced tangibly, but other types of violence against them still concerning, compared to the last year.
Mujib Khelwatgar, the director of NAI-Media Support in Afghanistan said, that totally 160 cases of violence against journalists, including 19 cases of murder, and the remaining beating, insulting, verbal violence had been registered in 2017, while verbal violence has increased by 30 percent this year.
The joint government and journalist committee has partially paid attention to some cases, but, unfortunately, the cases of murder and injuries were not still addressed.
The journalistic work of media workers have improved eye-catchingly day by day and the journalists situation in regard to their works have improved, he said but regretted over what he said lack of access to information by the media workers still persist as a major challenge.
Up to 500 people have left their work as media profession between 2014 and 2016, mostly due to insecurity and poverty, after the European countries opened its way to the refugees, said Khelwatgar who added right now rough number of them resorted to other works against their skills.
He also expressed concern over the addiction of some of the countries’ journalists, mostly due to family disputes and said the move would have negative impact on other journalists’ spirit in the society.
About his led organization (NAI), he said that a 2-year program, covering radios, TVs and newspapers would help journalists build their capacity in term of their journalism profession. “Some journalists graduated from the program and resorted to practical works as media professionals. In term of short-term courses, journalism basics, research reporting, media management and the journalism ethic, the NAI organization has also done much to offer professional journalists to the society.
The media freedom is one of the most important achievements of the government of Afghanistan in the past 17 years, in the country, though with fragile security prevailed. 

Thursday May 3, 2018

Kabul (BNA) On the advent of the World Press Day, she asked the women and girls to study hard to work for their country’s future as the society needs them.
Afghan women journalists support society since getting operational in 2003 has done much for the capacity building of the women journalists in the country, its director said.
Shafiqa Habibi, the director of the Afghan Women Journalists Support Society said her entity with 450 staff (all female) is the first women journalist support that has tried to do more for their capacity building through holding workshops in 16 provinces of Afghanistan.
“We held ten workshops for them to address the problems of women journalists, whoever secured contacts with the entity in the country’s 16 provinces with the organization’s agencies,” said Mrs. Habibi adding capacity building of the women journalists was one of the priority of her led organization in the center and provinces of the country.
“Two main objectives – supporting women rights and capacity building for female journalists were the key priorities, the society is set to carry out,” she said.
She added women journalists, working in the provinces have more problems than those in the capital, as they can access to information from the provincial governors and other local governments officials.
They are also critically facing security threat in the provinces, she said.
According to her, the organization has membership from many newswomen and that no entity had so far cooperated with it.
No female journalists have activity in the some provinces like Ghor, Badghis and Samangan, however in Kandahar, only four women are media activists.
She asked the government for cooperation to improve the capacity of the women journalists and help women take part in the society alongside men.
On the advent of the World Press Day, she asked the women and girls to study hard to work for their country’s future as the society needs them.
Meantime, Sardar Mohammad a newspaper vendor said he sell books and newspapers in Timurshahi area of Kabul City, since more than 40 years and have contracts with some organizations and government institutions, alongside having tens of customers.
“I sell government dailies in 7 afghanis, but private papers in 10 to 20.
I had good income from my work, but, after the people access to internet, our income reduced,” said Sardar Mohammad. He asked the media owners to reduce the price of their papers for the students, to help them get access to media and information.
Shukria Kohistani

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