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Govt asked to send info access law to Parliament

Govt asked to send info access law to Parliament

Sep 05, 2013 - 18:59

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A media advocacy group, Nai, on Thursday asked the government to send a draft law on access to information to the parliament for approval.

Jointly drafted by the Ministry of Information and Culture and some civil societyinfo-icon organisations two years back, the law has been sent to the Ministry of Justice.

Nai chief Siddiqullah Tawhidi told a press conference in Kabul the Cabinet had failed to discuss and forward the law to the parliament.

 “As the April 5 elections are approaching, there is an urgent need to allow media outlets to have access to information,” he said.

He said access to information was the right of every citizen and media outlets could better deliver it to the masses.

“Officials in the Presidential Palace think if the law is passed, it would make them obliged and increase their work burden,” he alleged.

However, he said journalists reserved the right to have access to information no matter whether or not the law was passed. “They can ask ministers and other government officials regarding issues of all natures and can interview them,” he said.

“We ask the President to sign the bill and send it to the parliament as soon as possible and we also urge the parliament, especially the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, to approve it without any delay,” he said.

Tawhidi claimed the Presidential Palace had been repeatedly contacted to ensure the law was discussed by the Council of Ministers, but it replied copies of the law had been dispatched to all ministries for opinion.

He said some circles in the President’s Office were against the law’s passage because they wanted journalists to be denied access to information.

However, spokesman for the Presidential Palace Administrative Office, Rafi Firdous, said a team had been appointed to thoroughly study the law and propose amendments before presenting it to the Cabinet.



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