The Kabul Times.
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Freedom of expression & press; two crucial elements of democracy

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By: Lailuma Noori
KABUL: 3rd May coincides with World Press Freedom Day. With the suggestion of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and approval of the UN national assembly, 3 May was named as World Press Freedom Day in 1991.
 
The day is observed annually to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights. This day reminds people that many journalists brave death or face jail to bring daily news to the public.
 
Naming of the day was aimed to insist on importance of press freedom in expansion of democracy in human communities and recall of governments’ tasks in observing of 19th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
 
According to 19th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
 
Today, press plays vital role in the field of analytic issues, reporting, prediction of a range of incidents and delivering necessary awareness to society and enhancing awareness of the people over social incidents.  On this day, we mark fundamental principles of press freedom, defend media and honor journalists who have lost their life during their work.
 
Brave journalists of the country put their life at risk to make report from powerful figures. Despite of such risks, devotion of the country’s journalists should be appreciated as they question powerful and corrupt individuals, disclose corruption-related incidents and promote transparency and good governance. They love their country and help maintain peace and stability in the country.
 
Development and operation of media in the country is indebted of sacrifices of journalists who have kept stand all pillars of the country’s media despite of all threats and problems they are facing with. Therefore, the government, media organizations and various classes of the people should support this hardworking class and appreciate their hardworking and efforts. Let’s commemorate World Press Freedom Day by observing journalists’ rights and providing facilities to media in the country.
 
Afghanistan is among 159 countries which has signed the United Nations Security Council’s 1737 protocol, 1177 protocol, 79th article of declaration and the Geneva protocol in connection with security and safety of journalists, but unfortunately our journalists have been fired, beaten and threatened for the past 20 years.
 
Based on reports provided by the human rights and media support organizations, Afghan journalists are threatened by Taliban and in some extent by security personnel; therefore, security and safety of journalists is the most significant issue for journalists in the country. Journalists need continued support of society to address obstacles towards precision reports.
It is worth mentioning that press is considered as the fourth and effective pillar of democracy in the world. Press freedom and presence of media organizations have developed unprecedentedly in the past 20 years, which has considered as a big achievement in the country.
 
 

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The Kabul Times.