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Ghani recalls amended draft media law, muses about more consultations

AT News

KABUL: President Ghani has ordered the recall of the amended draft of the mass media law from the parliament until the draft is further discussed with the media under the leadership of the Second VP Sarwar Danesh.

The Presidential Palace said in a statement on Monday that Ghani in a cabinet meeting said that the Afghan government has always been committed to supporting the freedom of speech and enhancing the media activities and that “fortunately, we have no one in custody on charges of violating freedom of speech.

Afghan Journalists Safety Committee has welcome the decision to stop processing the proposed amendment. The committee had already started opposition to the draft law with the help of other watchdogs and journalist associations.

The proposed provisions had earlier ignited a flurry of criticism from media community, calling the move draconian, unconstitutional, and a constraint to the freedom of media.

Media outlets and media watchdogs in an open letter to President Ghani on Monday voiced concerns about the proposed amendment, saying it will limit freedom of the press and runs against the Constitution and international treaties. They called on the president to stop the drastic and repressive provisions and prevent it from becoming a menace against freedom.

The letter was read out by Afghan Journalists Safety Committee chief Najib Sharifi in a press conference in which the government is accused of yet again attempting to amend the Mass Media Law. They said that the new proposal will impose severe limitations to the freedom of media.

Afghanistan media community, in reliance on Article 7 of the Constitution, voiced in unison an utter discontent with the proposed provisions that go against Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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