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Khost journalists denied access to information

Khost journalists denied access to information

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Jun 19, 2019 - 15:11

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): A number of journalists in southeastern Khost province have blamed police and the governor’s house for noy sharing information with the media.

They say the problem, which has long been persisting, became serious recently, with reporters waiting for days for the comments they seek.

Mohamamd Rahim Sikandar, a reporter with Salam Watandar Radio, told Pajhwok Afghan News the officials concerned did not share information with them in time.

He said journalists had shared the problem several times with the governor’s house and police headquarters,, but the issue was still lingering.

“There are many events, to which officials invite reporters from the state-run television. They do not want their weaknesses to be exposed by independent media,” he alleged.

Sardar Shafaq, a Saihoon News Agency reporter based in Khost, confirmed access to information was necoming more difficult in the province with each passing day.

He said that only pro-government journalists were invited to programmes where public complaints and problems were shared, with independent media kept out of the loop.

Shafaq warned they would stop publishing positive news stories regarding the police headquarters if the officials concerned continued denying them information.

“Police officials don’t offer information on security incidents; some incidents happen in the morning but they refuse to share details with the media until late night,” he complained.

Batkh Jan Bakhtiar, a reporter with Killid Radio, also grumbled about local police officials not cooperating with journalists.

Meanwhile, Saifullah Hayat, head of the Journalists Safety Committee in the southeastern zone, confirmed officials did not share information with reporters in some cases.

He asked local the provincial authorities to cooperate with journalists on access to information.

“Officials refuse to play ball or share information with the media too late to be of any value,” he remarked.

On the other hand, the governor’s spokesman, Talibinfo-icon Mangal, said they had good relations with the media and invited journalists to important events.

“We are unaware what type of problems journalists are faced in terms of access to information. If there is any, they can share it with us. The governor’s house offers information in accordance with the law,” he insisted.

Adil Haidar, the police spokesman, said they always shared information with the media, but they were barred by the Ministry of Interior from giving details of certain incidents without its permission.

Based on Access to Information Law, all government organs are responsible for sharing information with the media. Confidential information is an exception.

mds/mud

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