Paktia media centre, magazine closed
GARDEZ (PAN): Journalists in the southeastern province of Paktia on Wednesday claimed the authorities had closed a media centre and banned the publication of a magazine.
But officials accused both outlets of failing to get declarations from the relevant department and that the magazine published articles that were critical of the government and tribal elders.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, the media centre head, Lemar Niazai, alleged Information Director Mohammad Shifa Mushfiq closed the centre late on Tuesday.
He said the director, recently sacked by the Ministry of Information and Culture, closed the centre with the help of his bodyguards.
"The journalists being trained at the centre were insulted and forced to leave by the director," Niazai said, blasting Mushfiq for tearing the latest edition of the Afghan Nang magazine.
"We have not been formally informed of the centre’s closure so far. Apparently, humorous pieces in the magazine provoked the officials into taking this drastic action," he believed.
However, Mushfiq insisted he had neither shut the centre nor he had the authority to do so. Instead he sent police to close the office after consultations with other officials, the director explained. The magazine had published contents that violated the media law, he said.
"We sent a formal complaint to the commission monitoring media violations regarding the issue," he continued. "Previously, we asked the centre to show its work permit, but did not have the declaration and insulted influential figures and officials."
Any threat to the national interests amounted to violating the media law and owners as well as the publishers of the magazine did not have any legal documents, said the governor's spokesman, Rohullah Samoon.
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