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Journalists face restrictions in covering Loya Jirga

AT News Report

KABUL: A number of journalists who are covering the ongoing Consultative Peace Loya Jirga, claim that they face restrictions by the government.

They said Wednesday that only the state-run RTA broadcaster is allowed to cover the jirga meetings, while other media companies are briefed about what happened in the evenings by a few people assigned by government officials.

Reporters, media supporting bodies and members of the Loya Jirga criticize restrictions as an effort for limiting freedom of speech and controlling the jirga sessions.

Besides, the jirga has caused many other problems for Kabul residents, businessmen, drivers and vendors by blocking roads around the city. The government-dictated jirga in charges make problems for the members of the jirga who are people’s representatives. Security personnel of the jirga drag delegates having opposite viewpoints out of the jirga hall that is an insult to the people who have elected them to convey their voices.

Differences over choosing administrative staff are mostly kept away from the eyes of reporters and nobody is allowed to speak about that with the media.

The jirga members want reporters to be allowed to go inside the hall and visit different committees.

But, the jirga organizers say they provide journalists with timely and accurate information, and they are invited to a special place because of the Jirga security.

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