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Journalists in the north barred from access to information

AT News

KABUL: Some journalists in the northern provinces criticize what they say “problems in access to information”, accusing officials particularly police of not cooperating in providing security information.

They say that police spokesmen avoid from taking their phone calls for interview.

Mohammad Jan Tamkin, head of reporters’ association in Jawzjan province said that the restrictions for access to information made a challenge for their work.

“The government sources rarely agree to interview with us in Jawzjan and Sar-e-Pul provinces. This has been a matter of concern for long.”

Tamkin said that local officials are bound to provide information for journalists based on the constitution.

He warned that freedom of speech would be affected if this problem was not solved.

Mohammad Jan Arya, journalist working for the Neshana local news agency, accused officials in Sar-e-Pul of hiding information, saying they violate people’s rights of access to information.

“Unfortunately this is a fact that police spokesmen in Jawzjan and Sar-e-Pul do not answer our questions.  They do not have enough information about the incidents,” said Arya.

Massoud Nadim, police spokesman in Jawzjan says that they have the right of speaking only about criminal cases.

“We are authorized to speak with reporters only about criminal incidents, but we cannot talk about war.”

But an official in the interior ministry said that all police spokesmen are allowed to give full information to journalists.

Journalists complain for the limitations of access to information by the government.

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