On World Press Freedom Day, Afghan media express concern
On World Press Freedom Day, the Afghan media community has expressed concern over the lack of access to information and the absence of a Media Violations Commission (CMV) . General concerns about the uncertain fate of the media in Afghanistan were also raised.
“Afghan journalists face problems accessing information,” said Mirwais, a journalist.
It comes as media watchdogs said around 40% of media outlets have gone out of business in recent months and many journalists and media workers have become unemployed.
“We celebrate May 3 when more than 40% of our media has been closed. Around 80% of female journalists and 60% of male journalists have lost their jobs. The situation has also affected the content of our media organization,” said Hujatullah Mujadidi, Head of AIJA.
“We hope these challenges will be resolved so that journalists can be in a better situation,” said Idrees Faroqi, director of 1TV.
“Access to information and the formation of the Media Violations Commission could reduce the problems journalists currently face,” said Meer Ali Azghar Akbarzada, a member of the Federation of Afghan Journalists.
This comes as World Press Freedom Day has drawn international attention to Afghan media, with many individuals and groups expressing concern about the state of the Afghan media community.
“On World Press Freedom Day, we should reflect on both the importance of free media and the sacrifices made by journalists. We honor their sacrifice by protecting freedom of the press wherever it is under attack,” US Charge d’Affaires Ian McCary said on Twitter.
UNAMA released a statement from the Group of Friends of Afghan Women Ambassadors on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, saying they “deplore the erosion of the rights of journalists and media institutions under the Taliban”.
Jasper Wieck, German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in a tweet that “freedom of the press is essential for Afghanistan and Afghans. Restrictions on national and international media must end.
Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said he supported media activities in Afghanistan:
“The main reason why (the) number of media outlets ceased operations since the withdrawal of American forces was their dependence on foreign funding,” he said. “We assure the Afghan media that we will do our best to help them solve their financial problems.”