The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Safeguarding freedom of speech, media

In Afghanistan a boost in the media but more journalists at risk

Freedom of speech and free circulation of information are two vital issues among people that have often been considered as achievements of Afghan people in the last almost two decades. The new system of the country has been supporting them in the wake of collapse of Taliban rule. The new system has inserted freedom of speech in the constitution as a value and the latter has emphasized that citizens of the country have the right to express their thoughts and ideas with every means or publish them without referring to any official authority and no one is allowed to exert sensor on expressing or publishing of this right pre or post publication. Method of use of this right has been detailed in a separate law on mass media.
The government is strongly in favor of institutionalization of freedom of speech as well as expansion and development of information circulation among different social strata and has provided all possible supporting grounds. The government considers support of freedom of speech and free circulation of information among different social layouts as its priority and believes that national media should act independently from the intervention of the government three branches.
These emphasizes are very important because we see that free media advocating bodies and reporters’ trade unions often talk on threats that caused waves of concern among Afghan media community.
Beside other concerning reasons like increasing insecurities and spirit of violence against mediamen and occupation related dangers, there are two issues that increase concerns on continuation of freedom of speech and free circulation of information.
First, possibility of victimizing values in the name of freedom of speech and free circulation of information under the pretexts of efforts and endeavors for peace. This concern emanates from that issue the Taliban are one side of peace talks and either during their rule or during their violent reaction in the last 18 years
against government and people, they were against values including freedom of speech and free media and free circulation of information and suppressed them.
There are fears that this group may impose its extremist opinion against these values on other sides and victimize these values. People are concerned that lest due to importance of peace, these values would be underestimated and ultimately be victimized.
Second, the institutionalized spirit against freedom of speech, free operation of media and free circulation of information and violent reaction of certain power mangers, influentials, media operators, media men and professionals of media and reporting field have caused that in recent years a number of these activists have been victimized, martyred, injured or tortured and beaten.
According to second vice president, now freedom of speech is the government and people Red Line in peace talks, with Taliban. No one should be allowed to invade people and media freedom and no procrastination should take place in this sphere.
The Kabul Times

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.