By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: The 3rd government, media and international community roundtable discussion was held yesterday to discuss journalist safety and press freedom.
In the meeting attended by UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, foreign ambassadors to Kabul, UNESCO head for Afghanistan, members of Afghanistan Journalist Safety Committee, member of government and media joint committee and governor of Kabul, Second Vice President and head of the joint government and media committee Sarwar Danesh assured that home procedure of the joint government and media committee has changed to a regulation and would be soon approved in cabinet meeting and the committee would be then promoted to an permanent official committee.
Pointing to serious action taken by the government with violence cases against journalists, Second Vice President recalled that violence level against journalists has significantly reduced in 2019, saying that cases happening during the respective year have been also investigated seriously by the government.
He added that in total 117 cases of violence against journalists have been reviewed in the past one year and no cases have left un-reviewed, asserting that death penalty has been also issued in some extents.
In the meeting, Danesh by pointing to problems of female journalists said extremist remarks and steps against women in particular female journalists were concerning, criticizing civil society and human rights organizations as well as media support agencies for not taking necessary position against recent violence-related remarks in Herat.
He asked female journalists to be more committed and brave to doing their jobs, asserting that all were Muslims in Afghanistan; therefore, nobody has the right to impose his personal conception on others.
Second Vice President asked the people of Afghanistan in particular civil and cultural organizations, religious ulamas and universities’ lecturers to stand against such meaningless moves as women were half part of the Afghan society
Danesh also considered lack of access to information as other problem facing journalists and media in Afghanistan, asking the Commission on Access to Information to seriously follow the respective challenge and pave better way for access to information.
In the meeting, UN Special Envoy for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto also spoke and by praising Second Vice President for his role and support from media and freedom of expression said as a result of continued efforts made by the government and media support organizations, cases of violence against journalists have been investigated and reviewed during the past one year, saying that threats level against journalists were still concerning in the country.
Pointing to waves of extremism created sometime against female journalists in the country, UN Special Envoy for Afghanistan said the people and government of Afghanistan and media support organizations should stand against extremism.
He also said that the issue of security and freedom of press in the country should be protected as a principal factor in peace talks.