NAI opposed to minister heading media cell
KABUL (Pajhwok): Free media advocacy group NAI on Thursday urged President Ashraf Ghani not to approve the information and cultural minister as head of the proposed Media Complaints Commission.
The Wolesi Jirga has approved some amendments to the media law, allowing the formation of a cell to investigate complaints against media outlets.
The lower house has decided that the information and cultural minister would head the commission, drawing criticism from media and civil society groups.
However, after the upper house rejected the appointment of information and cultural minister as head of the commission, the issue was brought before a joint commission of parliament.
The joint commission also agreed at appointing the information minister to head the commission.
But NAI chief executive Abdul Mujib Khilwathgar told reporters in Kabul the joint commission’s decision was against Article 24 of the Constitution.
“How can you exercise the right to the freedom of expression when a minister is your boss”, he said, adding that journalists could not reveal many things to a minister.
He urged President Ghani not to endorse the amended media law, saying government officials had been found involved in 34 incidents of violence against journalists last year, when eight journalists were killed, 38 beaten and 50 others disgraced.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.