An important meeting was held between media leaders and the head of the Ministry of Information and Culture at the initiative of the Afghanistan journalist’s organizations and media federation.
In this meeting, after the arrival of the Islamic Emirate, the Federation’s annual report on the media and journalists and the ideas and suggestions of the media leaders were presented to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
The Deputy Minister of broadcasting of the Ministry of Information and Culture also promised to take some steps.
The meeting started with the recitation of some blessed verses of Quran majid in the meeting hall of the Ministry of Information and Culture, followed by the member of the leadership delegation of the Federation of Journalists and Media, Alhaji Abuzar Sarem Sarapuli, on behalf of the Federation, welcomed the guests. He also explained the agenda of the meeting. Mr. Sarpuli said about the activities of Journalist organizations and the Media Federation that the Federation wants the media and supporting organizations of journalists to be strengthened so that they have the ability and capacity to defend their rights.
He added that in the past years, some institutions have been cruelly hard with reporters and media; but the federation will not allow anyone to be misused media and reporters after this.
After that, the spokesperson of the Federation of Journalists and Media, Muhammad Bashir Hatef, presented the annual report of the federation and, freedom of speech and media activities to the participants of the meeting, which states:
In terms of media activity:
In the first four months of the rule of the Islamic Emirate, about 40 percent of the media in the country became inactive. Are
Although some international organizations indicate that the level of deactivated media is almost 60 percent, the research of the Federation proves that 40 percent, i.e. 218 media, have been deactivated. During this period, two media have been reactivated, three media have come out of the semi-active state and have expanded their activities as before, as well as five image media (televisions) and four sound media (radios), and about ten news Agencies, are newly established and have received operating licenses, which are not mentioned in the submitted reports.
About 10 percent of active media in the country have renewed their operating licenses and the rest have continued their work and broadcasts without renewing their licenses and are continuing.
The Federation thanks the Ministry of Information and Culture and the Ministry of Finance for not disturbing the said media because of the non-extension of the license and requests them to give more time to these media in this regard.
In the past year, five institutions related to journalists have recently received permission to operate and have started operating.
About 40 percent of the media workers lost their jobs in the first months due to the suspension of media activities. Twenty percent of other media workers have lost their jobs due to the lack of media infrastructure. Women workers in the media have mostly lost their jobs, according to the findings of this federation, 85 percent of them do not go to their jobs now.
The reason that the number of unemployed youths is high in some reports is that some young people have been given fake work certificates to use to go abroad and immigrate.
Unfortunately, in the past year, some media outlets have given thousands of people fake work certificates, which has caused obstacles in the identification of media workers and their transfer. People who were not related to the media were expelled from the country in the name of journalists and media workers.
The research of the Federation of Journalists and Media of Afghanistan shows that the main reason for the decrease in media activities in the first four months was economic problems because the markets were blocked and even the money of some media was left to advertising companies and institutions, banking activities. Not be able to get due to restrictions.
The spokesperson of the federation about the violence said:
Last year, 90 cases of violence against media workers were recorded, 80 percent of which occurred in the first five months.
Short-term arrest and detention are the most common causes of these violent people, which sometimes involve insults and beatings.
At the moment, three journalists have been in prison for three months, whose accusations have been called non-media accusations. It is hoped that the investigation commission of media violations will give more explanations about them.
The Federation of Journalists and Media of Afghanistan welcomes the formation and functioning of the Commission to Investigate Media Violations.
Although there has been a considerable delay in the establishment of this commission, we hope that the commission will have its legal powers to understand and carry out its responsibilities towards journalists and media.
Six months ago, the Federation proposed to the Ministry of Information and Culture to establish and activate two commissions (Media Violation Commission and Information Access Commission). We hope that the Access to Information Commission will be activated as soon as possible. During the last year, 6 media workers and famous user of social networks lost their lives, which shows a 50 percent decrease compared to previous years.
In the last year, there was no incident of targeted killing against journalists, but the incidents of loss of life of media workers are as follows:
– Two journalists (Mujtaba and Syed Ali Raza) were killed in the Kabul airport explosions.
– A media worker (Harun Niromand) committed suicide.
– One person (Faheem Dashti) was killed in direct fighting.
– A person dropped from a building while working in Iran and died.
Another person died due to illness, this person was the late Seighani, who according to some reports died due to an explosion in the west of Kabul city, but the investigations of the Federation showed that he died before the explosion. He died in his home due to the disease.
In the report, access to information and restrictions on the media are as follows:
(However, compared to the first five months, the level of access to information has improved because many government agencies have spokespersons who share information with reporters, but there is no access to information as needed because, on the one hand, the spokespersons do not have professional training and on the other hand, there is no punishment for those officials who do not provide correct information.
Media Activities Law and Access to Information Law have been enacted, but violators have not been prosecuted.
During the last year, there were restrictions on the work of the media in the country.
– Banning the release of female songs and clips.
– Banning the broadcasting of foreign serials in which young women have played a role.
– Female journalists are obliged to wear a mask while appearing on TV.
Freedom of Speech:
Although the number of people criticizing the government’s policies in the media has decreased, there are still criticisms. The country’s visual, audio and print media are still publishing content, interviews, and news of continuous condemnation of some of the government’s actions, which are carried out by critics.
Some organizations have claimed that limits have been set for political debate leaders and political experts, but the Federation has not found any examples of media leaders or political experts being forced to report on specific issues. Discuss the cases.
Bashir Hatef made a special proposal at the end of his speech, which included the following:
1- Because of the financial problems of the media, all the balances in the last year should be forgiven.
2- Since the media cannot meet their expenses through revenue due to the markets, the federation requests that the electricity bills of the media should be changed from a commercial status to normal status and should be calculated like the cost of houses. As long as the media can meet its cost from the market.
3- Those media which have not yet been able to renew their activity license and other legal documents due to financial problems, may be given respite to continue their activities until their financial ability improves.
4 – The head of the Ministry of Information and Culture should encourage all national businessmen, families, and foreign companies through joint meetings to support and strengthen the country’s media through advertisements and financial support.
The Federation is ready to host such meetings.
5- The process of accessing information should be quick, fast, and standardized. In this regard, it is necessary to take the following steps:
Spokespersons of all agencies should be obliged to provide information and those spokespersons who do not provide correct and satisfactory information should be punished according to the law. For this purpose, an access information commission should be formed as soon as possible.
Spokespersons of agencies should receive professional training in giving information through seminars and workshops so that the information becomes standard and satisfactory. The Federation is ready to provide full assistance in this regard and organize seminars and workshops for the spokespersons.
6- The cases of violence against journalists should be submitted to the established commission to complete its investigation and inform all journalists of the results. The Media Complaints and Grievances Commission shall have all statutory powers.
After that, the member of the head of the federation and the head of the Council of Journalists, Hafizullah Barakzai, invited all the leaders of the Media to present their ideas and requests in free space to the Minister of Information and Culture and the Minister of Broadcasting. He asked to listen to all the ideas coldly and find solutions for them.
Hafizullah Barakzai asked the head of the ministry to increase the role of journalists in the structure of the media complaints and violations commission so that they can reach the cases related to journalists and media on time.
Abdul Basit, the editor-in-chief of Kabul News TV, Ismatullah Niazi, the representative of Tolo News, Habibullah Sharifi, the representative of Rah Farda TV, Samim Forough Faizi, the representative of news agencies, and Abdul Samad Roshan, representing the print media, spoke about the financial problems of education. He called the lack of information delivery process and the incompetent behavior of the security official’s major challenges for the media and news reporters and asked the leadership of the ministry to find solutions for the same.
The Minister of Information and Culture Maulvi Khairullah Khairkhwah emphasized the joint work between the government and the media and added that he will take action in the field of joint training workshops with the spokespersons and security officials. The Minister of Information and Culture said about the inactivity of some media outlets that the government has not closed the door of a single media outlet, but economic problems are common, even to the point that some security personnel has not received their salaries for months. Khairkhwah promised to hand over the cases of fake news to the Media Complaints and Violations Commission, cooperate with the media regarding financial problems as much as possible, and encourage national businessmen to cooperate with the national media.
He also asked the media to consider Islamic principles and national interests.
Maulvi Khairullah Khairkhwah also promised to increase the number of journalists in the commission.
Mohajer Farahi, Minister of Broadcasting of the Ministry of Information and Culture, was the next speaker at the meeting, who promised to jointly find solutions to all problems.
The Deputy Minister of broadcasting said that the policy of the Islamic Emirate is not to isolate the media, but we want to work together to find solutions to all problems. Mohajer Farahi called the Federation of Journalists’ Associations and Media a good tool for coordination between the government and the media, adding that through this, they will continue to coordinate and share efforts. He also asked the media to consider the current laws and national values.
The last speaker of the meeting, Director General of Broadcasting of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Abdul Haq Himmad, said that the Islamic Emirate has allowed all media to operate freely since the first day and is committed to it.
Mr. Hamad added that there has been no incident of targeted killing of journalists in the past year, which is an achievement of the Islamic Emirate. The director of broadcasting said that the government did not make any recommendation to the media about programs or other activities, but implemented the law that the previous system had established but was not implemented. According to Hamad, freedom has limits throughout the world. And the limits are not to violate the rights of others. The media should also not violate the rights and status of the state, tribes, and individuals.