22 October 2020

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MoIC Seeks Afghan Media’s Role in Doha Peace Talks

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Thursday, September 24, 2020
Kabul (BNA) The Ministry of Information and Culture on Wednesday voiced concern over lack of information and censorship in Doha peace talks, saying that the Afghan media should have place at the negotiating table.
Addressing a press conference in ministry’s International Press Hall, Abdul Manan Shiway Sharq, the Deputy Minister of Publication Affairs said in order to preserve post-Taliban achievements, representatives of the Afghan media should have an active role in the Afghan Peace Negotiations.
The Deputy Minister also called on government and the Taliban not to censor the peace process. “According to Right to Information Act, as the Access to Information Commission exists, and according to mass media code, censorship is against the law,” Sharq said.
He said government is committed to upholding freedom of speech, adding: “We demand both the leadership of government of Afghanistan as well as the negotiators of the Taliban in Doha to determine the position of the Afghan media in the peace talks.”
Even living in the age of digital technology, Sharq added that what happens behind closed doors must not be censored and that Afghan journalists should also be allowed to cover the process.
“Media is considered and regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy and democratic society,” he said. “The Ministry of Information and Culture’s position is that censorship must be put aside, the media should have the right to cover anything that happens during the negotiations and representatives of the Afghan media should have an active presence around the negotiations table so that they preserve their rights.”
His remarks came at the time that very few details have been revealed to media in the past 10 days – since the start of the intra-Afghan talks.

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