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Govt never against free press: Presidential Palace

Govt never against free press: Presidential Palace

Apr 10, 2017 - 20:37

KABUL (Pajhwok): In response to Sunday’s criticism, the Presidential Palace on Monday said the government was committed to the freedom of press and it never willed to impose restrictions on the media.

A day earlier, reporters were not allowed to ask questions from President Ashraf Ghani out of his recent foreign trips. The president was addressing a press conference about his achievements in his recent trips to Indonesia and Singapore.

The move angered media advocacy groups and journalists who called the president’s behavior as ‘offensive, ‘unacceptable’ and ‘worrying.’ They asked the president to respect the country’s laws, particularly the law on access to information.

Shah Hussain Murtazavi, acting spokesman to the president, in response to the media concerns, said: “We informed all media outlets one day ahead of the president’s this conference and were told to ask questions only and only about his recent trips, we also directly talked with them about the conference held,”

He said the reporters were told they could ask questions about other issues in next press conferences.

“The president also did not respond to questions  not related to his recent foreign visits. The president responded all questions relating to the subject,” Murtazavi said.

He said the government was committed to supporting the freedom of speech and activities of media.

Many steps have been taken for improvement of the freedom of speech since the national unity government was established, he said.