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World Press Freedom Day; No compromise on free press: Danesh

Kabul Based Diplomatic Missions Reiterate Support to Afghan Journalists and Media

AT News 

KABUL: The Afghan government will preserve the achievements gained in freedom of expression, Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh said, adding that all parties involved in the Afghan peace process should pay attention on this aspect.

Danesh cited the remarks on Monday in a ceremony held in Kabul to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day.

Danesh said the government will defend the draft for “Supporting of Press Freedom” in peace process that is needed to be a key part of peace deal. He pledged the government is committed to freedom of expression and journalists.

Celebrating the World Press Freedom Day, the Kabul based diplomatic missions that include Australia, Canada, Denmark, EU Delegation, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, U.S. and United Kingdom in a Joint statement reiterated their support to the Afghan Journalists and Media.

Afghanistan has recently seen an upswing in targeted-killings of some high profile figures including journalists and activists. According to a human watchdog, Amnesty International, 11 journalists were killed in targeted-attacks in 2020 in Afghanistan.  

But Second Vice President assured the journalists that peace and Republic values are the priority of the government that would also place the freedom of expression on top of agenda. A long uneven way has been crossed and many lives lost in the way of gaining press freedom in past many years, he noted.

He insisted that Afghan government is committed to protect freedom of expression and journalists.

Pointing to violence cases against journalists and media staffers, Second Vice President said that after the “Government and Media Joint Committee,” all 575 violence cases, which took place against journalist and media workers in the past 20 years, were preceded.

Hinting to recent target killing of journalists, he said that several murderers were arrested in connection to the cases and their dossiers dispatched to related attorney offices for proceeding.

The joint statement of the Kabul base diplomatic organizations said that the vibrant media sector of Afghanistan “is one of the country’s greatest success stories of the last two decades.”

A free and independent media is an essential part of an inclusive and representative Afghanistan, the statement added. “Free, safe and independent journalists and media organizations are necessary to help tackle corruption and allow people to participate meaningfully in democracy with access to accurate and trustworthy information.” The statement also called for an end to the continued violence against the journalists and media professionals. “Journalists must be protected, and those who commit acts of violence and murder against workers in the sector must be brought to justice,” the statement added. “We recognize that female journalists and media professionals are particularly at risk.”

The Amnesty International called on the Afghan government to protect the Afghan journalists amid wrenching violence ragging across the country.

The human right watchdog said that the attacks against journalists and media workers remained unsolved.

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