22 February 2018

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Tuesday December 26, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Speakers at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the creation of the Joint Committee of Media and Government (JCMG) on Sunday said a number of media outlets were forced to embrace self-censorship.
Second vice president Mohammad Sarwar Danesh addressing the ceremony lauded the performance of the committee. He said the ‘heavy shadow of extremism and obscurantism’ had created hurdles for Afghanistan media.
He said insurgents, irresponsible armed groups, and strongmen at times had caused problems and forced media outlets into self-censorship.
The second VP termed the development of freedom of expression and the increase in media outlets over the past 16 years a huge ‘gain’ for Afghanistan. He asked media outlets to support the government in preventing corruption through preparing and publishing investigative reports in this regard.
The Second VP also said the process of issuing computerized ID cards would be initiated next week and soon problems in the electoral commissions would be overcome.
Meanwhile Fahim Dashti, deputy head of the committee, told the event ‘National session on commemorating the first anniversary of JCMG’ in Kabul, said this year 49 cases of violence towards media persons had been recorded.
According to him, JCMG was able to address 36 cases of the cases through mediation. He didn’t go into details, saying nine of the cases were under investigation.
However, he said the committee in addition to these cases had inspected about 726 cases of violence towards reporters happened during the past 15 years and had sent 35 cases to the attorney general’s office (AGO).
He said the AGO had completed work on 23 cases and the rest were under consideration.
Dashti touted achievements by of committee in ensuring journalists’ safety in Kabul and provinces, holding conferences every second month, fundraising campaigns for supporting reporters financially, exempting media outlets from taxes and the Access to Information Law.
Mohammad Farid Hamidi, the Attorney General, who was also present at the gathering, said the cases of violence on journalists were being seriously scrutinized at the AGO. He also asked the press to expose graft cases by publishing investigative reports, promising AGO’s full support to media in this regard.
Many investigative reports have been produced by media outlets, but the government doesn’t pay heed to most of such reports.
Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Afghanistan, on his part dubbed the freedom of expression in Afghanistan as a major achievement, emphasizing it should be seriously backed.
He asked the Afghan government to work more towards ensuring security and safety of journalists. He promised the EU would continue its assistances for development of freedom of expression in Afghanistan.
The JCMG since its creation one year ago has accessed and resolved about 71 cases of violence against journalists.
The committee, comprising representatives of government, media federations and journalists on Sunday celebrated the body’s first anniversary.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, the second-vice president of Afghanistan, in a meeting of the joint media and government committee, said that freedom of expression was the government’s red line in peace process with the armed oppositions, a statement from his office said Sunday.
At a gathering attended by the government cabinet ministers, deputies of the ministries, representatives of the embassies and other international institutions, the vice president, first praised what he said a hard work of the joint committee for doing their responsibilities before journalists and making effort for safety and security of media workers and then said the committee had done its work properly over the last one year of the committee establishment, the statement said.
The vice-president went on blaming extremist groups and local powerful individuals for being behind imposing violence, restrictions and self-censorship on media, but said the government, despite this, had done much in restoration of freedom of expression and belief and maintaining journalist’s safety over the recent two years.
Approval and issuance of the law on access to information was one of the government practical measures adopted recently towards supporting media and freedom of expression and added the government was also committed to establish a joint committee to meet media outlets’ problems in the center and provinces of the country, said the statement.
He called freedom of expression the government’s red line during any situations, particularly in the most destiny-making process of peace with the government armed oppositions and added that no one would be allowed to invade the people and media freedom.
The vice-president said the law of access to information, has its own legal restriction and that any effort to provide information is restricted to not be opposing national security of the country and not to be contrary to the public order and security or not be against the people privacy and personal rights, as well as not to cause hatred and tribal or linguistic disputes or causing outbreak of religious and violence among the nation.
He asked the media to help strengthen the spirit of national interest and resolute support to the country’s security forces who are victimizing themselves against the enemy of the people of Afghanistan, the statement said.
He also said the distribution process of ID or e-Tazkera is expected to be started by next week and that appreciated Afghanistan parliament for approving the population statistics as one of the latest impediment to the distribution process.
Other speakers including, Fahim Dashti, a member of the journalists and media federation of Afghanistan spoke on the occasion and provided the meeting with details about the achievements of the media and the challenges, they are facing in the future.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) has launched a workshop for awareness related to sexual harassment.
In the workshop launched by directorate of gender for MoIC in cooperation with Afghanistan Educational Capacity Building., deputy minister of Finance, administrative and tourism for information and culture Associate Prof. Sayeda Mojgan Mustafavi spoke related to sexual harassment and said unfortunately sexual harassment has increased in government institutions in recent years and launching such public awareness programs could be effective in reducing the harassment.
Mustafavi recalled of creating a committee for reviewing harassment related cases in the ministry, adding that leading body of the ministry would continue their effort towards providing a secure and sound environment.
Meanwhile, director of gender for the ministry Mahbooba Sadat by pointing to regulation on prohibition of sexual harassment said by awareness of the regulation sexual harassment would decrease in government institutions.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Afghan and Pakistani youth in a conference titled “Either side of border talks for reconciliation” stressed on maintaining peace in the two countries.
In the conference held by Afghanistan Mediotic Afghanistan and attended by young ambassadors of the two countries, deputy minister of publication affairs for information and culture, Fazil Sancharaki by pointing to role of youth in maintaining of peace in the two countries aid in current situation in which both countries were suffering from extremism, such talks could pave the way for peace.
He considered that current problems of the two countries could not be addressed through war, adding that current challenges should be addressed through dialogues.
Deputy Minister of publication affairs considered role of youth of the two countries as valuable in maintaining peace asserting that youth by powerful impetus could play vital role in this regard.
Head of Afghanistan youth parliament Agha Mohammad Quraishi in his speech considered extremism as the biggest challenge in the two countries, asserting that good relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan could result in stability in the region.
Representing the Pakistani youth, Javid Ahmad spoke and added: “it is necessary to build trust between the two countries,”
He believed that the people of both countries would reach peace if the two countries, reviewed their foreign policies.

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