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On 1st anniversary, JCMG announces addressing 71 cases

On 1st anniversary, JCMG announces addressing 71 cases

Dec 24, 2017 - 20:45

KABUL (Pajhwok): Speakers at a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the creation of the Joint Committee of Media and Government (JCMG) on Sunday said a number of media outlets were forced to embrace self-censorship.

The JCMG since its creation one year ago has accessed and resolved about 71 cases of violence against journalists.

The committee, comprising representatives of government, media federations and journalists on Sunday (December 24) celebrated the body’s first anniversary.

Fahim Dashti, deputy head of JCMG, told the event ‘National session on commemorating the first anniversary of JCMG’ in Kabul, said this year 49 cases of violence towards media persons had been recorded.

According to him, JCMG was able to address 36 cases of the cases through mediation. He didn’t go into details, saying nine of the cases were under investigation.

However, he said the committee in addition to these cases had inspected about 726 cases of violence towards reporters happened during the past 15 years and had sent 35 cases to the attorney general’s office (AGO).

He said the AGO had completed work on 23 cases and the rest were under consideration.

Dashti touted achievements by of committee in ensuring journalists’ safety in Kabul and provinces, holding conferences every second month, fundraising campaigns for supporting reporters financially, exempting media outlets from taxes and the Access to Information Law.

Second vice president Sarwar Danish also spoke on the occasion, lauding the performance of the committee. He said the ‘heavy shadow of extremism and obscurantism’ had created hurdles for Afghanistan media.

He said insurgents, irresponsible armed groups, and strongmen at times had caused problems and forced media outlets into self-censorship.

Danish termed the development of freedom of expression and the increase in media outlets over the past 16 years a huge ‘gain’ for Afghanistan. He asked media outlets to support the government in preventing corruption through preparing and publishing investigative reports in this regard.

Mohammad Farid Hamidi, the Attorney General, who was also present at the gathering, said the cases of violence on journalists were being seriously scrutinized at the AGO. He also asked the press to expose graft cases by publishing investigative reports, promising AGO’s full support to media in this regard.

Many investigative reports have been produced by media outlets, but the government doesn’t pay heed to most of such reports.

The Second VP also said the process of issuing computerized ID cards would be initiated next week and soon problems in the electoral commissions would be overcome.

Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Afghanistan, on his part dubbed the freedom of expression in Afghanistan as a major achievement, emphasizing it should be seriously backed.

He asked the Afghan government to work more towards ensuring security and safety of journalists.

He promised the EU would continue its assistances for development of freedom of expression in Afghanistan.