For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302

Afghanistan Must Lift Media Restrictions, Says Amnesty International

WASHINGTON - On the eve of the presidential
elections in Afghanistan, Amnesty International has called on the Afghan
government to reverse its ban on national and international media from
reporting on cases of violence and insecurity occurring during Thursday's

The decision was made following a National
Security Council meeting on Tuesday and was announced by the Afghan Ministry
of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry said that journalists must avoid reporting
on any election-related violence or security incidents that may occur during

"The Afghan government should immediately
dissolve the restrictions on media reporting and allow the national and
international media to practice freedom of expression and the right of
the people to access information," Said Sam Zarifi, director of Amnesty
International's Asia Pacific Program.

In the run up to the election, Amnesty International
has documented intimidation of critical Afghan journalists by both the
Afghan government and Taliban insurgents.

Amnesty International believes that restricting
media reporting on election day will undermine the efforts of the international
community and the achievements of the Afghan government for maintaining
freedom of expression and access to information in Afghanistan.

"Freedom of expression lies at the heart
of the democratic process. The Afghan government is contradicting this
very principle in trying to restrict reporting by journalists at a time
when the Afghan people need more information, not less," said Zarifi.


FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever

Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Common DreamsSupport Common Dreams

We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.

Share This Article

More in: