Access to information law be amended: Journalists
The access to information law comprised six chapters and 32 articles was ratified by the Wolesi Jirga and approved by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani this year.
Sayyed Akram Afzali, head of the Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), said the access to information law was one of the weakest laws as it ranked 66th among 100 international laws of similar nature.
In addition, he said 150 privileges had been mentioned in the law while the government provided 77 only. He dubbed the complaints investigation mechanism inappropriate, adding that under such mechanism complaints could not be addressed properly.
Afzali said IWA in collaboration with Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), Killid Group, Internews, the Afghanistan Independent Journalist Association (AIJA), Association for Disables, and experts of law had prepared a new draft regarding access to information.
In the new draft, an independent and natural commission had to be assigned the task to investigate complaints, he added.
He demanded the president should fulfill his pledges and issue a legislative decree to further ensure access to information law.
Speaking on the occasion, Danish Karokhel, director Pajhwok Afghan News, said that civil society organizations and media outlets had worked for six years and finally introduced a draft regarding access to information.
He lamented after its ratification and approval: “Access to the meetings of provincial complaint commission is a great problem for us that’s why the current law has multiple problems which need to be addressed.”
Karokhel said purpose of the new draft was aimed at making journalists and common people access easy to information.
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