Balkh gathering stresses awareness on access to info law
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Journalists in northern Balkh province say local officials and some colleagues are unaware of the access to information law passed about a year ago.
On Wednesday, a gathering bringing together journalists and officials of the provincial Information and Culture Department took place at the Independent Human Rights Commission’s office in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, on the law.
Information and Culture Director Saleh Mohammad Khaleeq told Pajhwok Afghan News on the sidelines of the gathering that the access to information law had been approved in six chapters and 32 articles.
According to Chapter four, clause 16, commissions overseeing the implementation of the access to information law should be established first in the central capital and then provinces, Khaleeq said.
He said they organised the gathering with journalists and civil society activists to set up the oversight commission.
He said the panel would have 13 members including representatives of some government departments, political parties, civil society groups and human rights bodies.
Some representatives of journalist bodies expressed their pleasure over the creation of the oversight commission, but said besides government officials some journalists were also unaware of the law.
Kazim Haideri, a member of the leadership council of the association of journalists in the northern zone, said about a year had passed since the access to information law was enacted, but little knowledge was available about the law.
Tolo television reporter Arif Musawi said first facilities to interpret and understand the law should be brought into being. He said the provincial information and culture department should provide details of the law to journalists
NAI office official in Balkh Noor Agha Sharifi confirmed some journalists and local officials had little knowledge about the law.
He said his organization was ready to arrange a two-day seminar for journalists on the law in collaboration with the provincial information and culture department.
The gathering issued a statement that urged the provincial information and culture department to facilitate the arrangement of seminars creating awareness about the law.
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