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Wed, Nov

Ghani Issues Decree To Ensure Safety Of Journalists

Afghanistan
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president-ghani-decree-on-jurnalists-safetyPresident Ashraf Ghani has issued a decree to ensure the safety of journalists and give them access to accurate information.


The deputy spokesman for Ghani, Sayed Zafar Hashemi, said that the decree focuses on the safety of journalists as well as ensuring probes into the killing of journalists.
The decree comes after eight journalists and staff members of media organizations have been killed in less than two weeks.
"This [the decree] indicates the commitment of Presidential Palace and National Unity Government, especially the president, towards free press. We try to strengthen them [media] and we try to act offensively, rather than acting defensively," Hashemi said.
Media support organizations welcomed the decree and urged the government to implement it.
Fahim Dashty, CEO of Afghanistan's journalist union, said all contents of the decree are implementable. "If government makes necessary efforts and if it is committed to implement it [the decree] and if we also follow its implementation, then we don't see anything in the decree not to be implementable," he added.
Rahimullah Samandar, head of Afghan Independent Journalists Association, said that the decree, if implemented, will be helpful in resolving the challenges faced by journalists.
"The first two articles and also the sixth article, which is about investigations into the killing of journalists, are very helpful," he added.
Journalists, however, blame the government for turning a blind eye towards the problem faced by them.
"In provinces, our journalists are faced with problems. When a government source gives information to journalists, the Taliban reject it, or do not show any reaction, or decline to say something and when journalists publish the report, then the Taliban react and say that it is biased or is incorrect," said Naweed Ahmad Barkzai, a journalist.
He added in most cases journalists are being threatened and even killed.
Ahmad Farid, another journalist, is not optimistic about the decree and said that government should take practical steps.
Around two weeks ago, a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying staff members of TOLO TV, killing seven staffers, wounded more than 20 others.
In a second incident, unidentified gunmen shot dead Mohammad Zubair Khaksar, a journalist in eastern Nangarhar province on Friday night.