Last week was the worst week for freedom of expression and access to information in the country. During this period about 10 complaints have been registered at Nai Media Watch, most of them revealed that one of the major challenges that journalists face is inaccessibility to information.
Journalists in Parwan province were taken out from the deputy governor, Shah Wali Shaahid’s office, and they weren’t allowed to attend a meeting which was held on ownership of lands which are located in front of Parwan University and Parwan-Kabul highway. In addition, Shayiq Qasemi, a freelance journalist in Parwan province claimed that he was insulted by the governor after demanding information. In two other cases, Ms. Assila Ahmadzai, Chaapaar News Agency journalist in Faryab and Farhat News Agency in northern-zone, and Rahima Yazdani, Ava News Agency journalist claimed that they were threatened and insulted by Muhammad Hanif Rezai, Spokesperson of Shahin Corps 209 in north.
Moreover, Ms. Roya Ahadi complained on lack of access to information from the Ministry of Martyrs and Disabled Affairs. At the same time, journalists in Ghoor province by registering a complaint against Ghoor Health Department have claimed that they have been threatened and insulted, afterward; following news airing that was informing about a coronavirus suspicious who ran away from Ghoor provincial hospital.
At the same time, Nai is concerned about ignorance of freedom of expression during peace process which is ongoing between US government and Taliban. Adding the recent week incidents increased Nai’s concerns. Nai asks the Afghan Government to follow up these issues seriously and let journalistic community know about the outcome of their measured actions. Nai also asks the negotiators to mark freedom of expression, human rights and human dignity during the peace talk process, and assure Afghan people that the aforementioned values and achievements have not been harmed and won’t be harmed during this process.