Bamyan journalists voice concern at censorship move
BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Journalists in central Bamyan province on Tuesday expressed their concern about a recent move by the governor’s office barring local officials from giving interviews before consulting with the authorities.
In a letter sent from the governor’s office, local departments were asked to consult and coordinate with the media office before talking to reporters. But local journalists warned the move could lead to curtailing the freedom of expression.
Zafar Bamyani, a reporter with the Voice of America, called the move illegal. “We don’t know why they want to impose censorship on us. Bamyan is one of the provinces enjoying the freedom of expression until recently.”
Roohullah Farogh, the provincial human rights commission head, said the letter clearly stated that no official could give interviews to journalists without consulting with the governor’s spokesperson.
“We are concerned that the departments would use the letter as an excuse and not provide information to journalists at all,” he added.
Farogh said the deputy governor had promised to consult with the acting governor on the issue and if the letter was against the law, it would be withdrawn.
Abdul Rahman Ahmadi, the governor’s spokesperson, said the objective was not to limit the freedom of expression, but to create better coordination among local departments in providing accurate information to journalists.
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