Around two hundred journalists and media activists launched a peaceful gathering coordinated by Nai, Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan. They gathered in front of Afghanistan’s National Assembly and asked the representatives in the parliament to recall the government to send the access to information law for approval to the parliament.
These journalists carried the slogans such as “Right of access to information is the right of every citizen” and at the end overhanded a three article resolution to Mrs Helay Ershaad who heads the religious, cultural and education commission in the lower house. The resolution states the followings:
1. We ask the parliament to issue a week deadline to the government to send the draft law on right of access to information. If it doesn’t happened so; by using its legal authority, the parliament has to, in coordination with media institutions, arrange and approve the draft law which is available with these institutions within two weeks.
2. We ask the parliament that according to the first article of this resolution, to approve the access to information law and pay serious attention to the journalists’ and media’s complains in terms of lack of access to information. It has to introduce the violators who misbehave against the reporters to the judicial and justice entities.
3. We ask the United Nations to compel the Afghan government to ensure its citizens enjoy their right of access to information by enforcing the access to information law.
Right of access to information, for the first time, has been officially recognized as an essential and human right of Afghan citizens by Afghan constitution in 2003. As article 53 of the constitution stipulated, it was expected that Afghan citizens will no longer face lack of information and culture of confidentiality for any types of information have been practicing by the government institutions. Government was to formulate access to information law immediately so that it could ensure citizens’ right of access to information.
Note to mention that drafted law on access to information was submitted to the government two years ago by media community. But still there is not any news about its destiny. According to Nai supporting open media in Afghanistan “access to information law” is currently holds with the cabinet council and some of the ministers try to avoid and prevent its approval by this council.