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Activists berate govt. over media censorship

AT-KABUL: The government is facing criticism from media activists and agencies, accusing it of as they described it a ‘censorship drive’ as it seeks to restrict live broadcasting.

Following the deadly Shashdarak terror attack that killed nine journalists, reports leaked in media that the government has been seeking to limit live broadcasting in certain cases. “This poorly targeted censorship to stop live media coverage of security incidents is unacceptable”, said chief executive of Afghanistan Radio and Television Union.

Mohammad Abdullah said that any media censorship is a betrayal to all lives (of journalists) lost in the past decade and half. At a press conference, he said that not only certain figures inside the government seek limitation to media activities, but the land mafia, drug lords, corrupt individuals and terrorists too are in pursuit of media censorship.

“We have made sacrifices for the sake of freedom of speech, and we will never accept any sort of limitation or censorship,” he argued, insisting that the government agencies had no right to forcefully dictate their penchants on the media as we will never give up resisting.

A member of the Afghan Media Federation lashed out at media censorship, arguing that such limitations were in contradiction with the constitution. “We will never sanction the willful imposition of limitations on media activities,” said Hamid Pooya. “The government had promised to publicize the findings of the May 1 terror attack on journalists within five days. But it was a red herring,” he asserted.

National Journalists Union Chief urged the government to publicize the findings and the video footage of the terror attack. Asghar Akbarzada warned the government and spy agency of bad consequences should they refuse to share their discoveries. He threatened to leak documents that will explain why the security situation has worsened and why the government is seeking to restrict media.

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