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Author Topic: Restrictions on journalism in Afghanistan
Babbler # 4140

posted 28 June 2006 09:27 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"The Afghan government should immediately revoke a recently promulgated directive restricting the freedom of the press," says Human Rights Watch.

HRW: On June 12 and 19, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate (NSD), distributed a list of restrictions to Afghan journalists demanding that they curtail their reporting on the country’s deteriorating security situation.

Human Rights Watch on Afghanistan

Here are a few selections from the Karzai regime's "request":

quote: is important that the media must ban or restrict broadcasting those materials which deteriorate the morale of the public, cause security problems and which are against the national interest. The following must be banned or restricted ....

* Broadcasting and publication of reports which cause irritation, any exaggerated reports against national unity ....

* Conducting interviews with high ranking well known commanders of terrorist groups, those who have participated in armed conflict against the government, and filming or photographing them...

* Those materials that deteriorate people's morale and cause disappointment to them, and the publication of gossip and rumors...

* Negative propaganda, interviews and reports which are provocative or slanderous and which are against the presence (in Afghanistan) of the international coalition forces and ISAF...

* The use of titles of respect such as warriors, resistance, peace keepers etc should not be used to describe terrorists and killers ...

* Broadcasting and publication of those reports and interviews that are against the government's foreign policy ...

And, at the very end of the "request" ...

Copying and broadcasting and distribution of this document is not authorized.

In other words, don't cause any damage to public morale, irritation (to whom?!), disappointment, ... You, as a journalist, are not allowed to criticize the presence of armed foreign troops in your own country. You are not allowed to criticize aspects of the foreign policy of the government. And so on. And don't dare let on that we "requested" these things.

Well, let's see now. The Minister of "Defence" of Canada says that the eggheads at some think tank don't really understand the situation on the ground. On the other hand, those locals that are "on the ground" are prohibited from criticizing the presence of the foreign troops. It's good to see that Canada is "working together" with the Karzai government to bring "freedom" to Afghanistan. What a crock of shit.

[ 28 June 2006: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jerry West
Babbler # 1545

posted 28 June 2006 05:39 PM      Profile for Jerry West   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another source:


Afghan media coverage tests journalists

Journalists and media groups in Afghanistan are warning of the consequences of new government guidelines that impose numerous restrictions on the coverage of certain subjects, including foreign-troop presence and terrorist attacks. A directive distributed to media representatives on 18 June instructs them to avoid issues that demoralize the public. It also says there should be no interviews or broadcasting of videos or photographs with "terrorist commanders." Some Afghan journalists have vowed to resist the guidelines, which they say violate Afghanistan's constitution and media law.

By Golnaz Esfandiari for RFE/RL (28/06/06)

Journalists who have seen the directive say it has no official stamp or signature. But sources claim it was shown to media representatives at the National Security Directorate on 12 June and distributed a week later with a warning against "publishing or copying" its contents.

The document contains at least 20 recommendations for the Afghan media - including a ban on reports that "weaken public morale" or otherwise harm "the national interests."

Media are also instructed not to air or publish reports that "show weakness of our country's armed forces."

The directive also forbids criticism of the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan - including the US-led coalition and NATO forces - and bans interviews that run counter to the country's foreign policy.

Media are ordered not to lead their news with stories of antigovernment activities, including suicide attacks.

The document also says that mujahedins, who fought the Soviet occupation, should not be called "warlords" and Afghan technocrats who have returned from exile should not be described as "Westernized." ....

Link to article

From: Gold River, BC | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged

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