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Watchdog hits out at govt. over ‘withholding information about war’

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan Center for Journalists is criticizing the government and security officials for what they call a systemic attempt to withhold information surrounding the ongoing war in the country.

The watchdog called on the Interior Ministry officials to refrain from restricting access to information and to respect the law. In a statement, it said that the Ministry of Interior has unilaterally created a WhatsApp information portal, which has been set up to provide information and respond to journalists in emergencies, but reporters cannot leave a message or ask questions.

“While the war is intensifying across the country, security officials are simply not willing to be interviewed and provide information,” said the statement, criticizing this action as a step towards restricting freedom of expression and access to information.

The journalists’ center slammed Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian for his comments on member journalists of the WhatsApp portal which he said was used as a platform for analysis and verbal violence, a reason why the portal was restricted for comments and interviews.

The Afghan Journalists’ Center condemned the Interior Ministry’s move as an attempt to tighten restrictions on freedom of expression and create more restrictions on access to information.

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