Irfan Bazgar, Salam Watandar Journalist in Takhar, through an interview has said to Nai that on Sunday morning 9th June 2019, Hashmat Muslim, Takhar Police Chief has invited him and Shafiq Poya, Khurshid TV Journalist at his office and told them among a number of police officers: “Thence the victims of police forces should be called martyrs and you should not report about the security challenges daily basis. You should not have published the burned images of Amanullah Khan in Taleqan city. Avoid dissemination of news which reveals Taliban’s influence over some areas and a number of other issues.”
Mr. Bazgar said, the Takhar Police Chief has also warned, if you violate the aforementioned measures you will be imprisoned.
Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan considers the statements of Takhar Police Chief an explicit violation of Access on Information Law. According to Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Nai Managing Director, journalists in Takhar province should be free and impartial regarding covering and publicizing the incidents that occur. Imposition of restriction on dissemination of any news is the actual and explicit violation of Access to Information Law, journalists and people should not be deprived of this right.
Nai also believes that imposition of restriction and determining journalists and media is choking freedom of speech. Therefore, Nai asks the Interior Ministry to clarify the statements made by Takhar Police Chief and determine the points he said is an official statement of Interior Ministry or it not. If the answer is negative so the ministry should remind the Police Chief that no one at any position can go beyond the law.