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NAI presents journalists’ demands to negotiators

NAI presents journalists’ demands to negotiators

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Sep 14, 2020 - 18:02

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghan journalists on Monday presented their demands --- ceasefire, protection of womeninfo-icon’s rights and freedom of expression --- to peace negotiators in Doha.

The intra-Afghan talks, originally scheduled to begin ten days after the US and the Taliban signed an agreement on Feb 29, were delayed for six months that saw the government and the Talibaninfo-icon swapping prisoners. The talks finally began in Qatari capital Doha city last Saturday.

After the opening ceremony of the talks in Doha, an introductory meeting took place between the government and the Taliban representatives and both the sides agreed to form a joint working body.

Mujib Khelwatgar, chief executive of free media advocacy group NAI, told a press conference here that their office conducted interviewsinfo-icon with a number of journalists in capital Kabul and provinces.

He did not provide details about their survey, but said the survey showed a number of journalists and media outlets feared compromises on their fundamental rights in the ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Qatar.

He said journalists in the survey also demanded the two sides agree on a general ceasefire, uphold values of Islam in accordance with national laws, protect freedom and rights of women, especially “women journalists. The journalists sought protection of freedom of expression as their main demand in the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha.

Khelwatgar said the Taliban must remain committed to all media laws and access to information, saying no censorship would be acceptable.

He further added the peace talks should not be held behind closed doors but in presence of national and international media and the outcome of the talks should be shared with people at the end of each meeting.

He accused a number of government spokesmen of not sharing information with media persons these days.

He stressed that access to information was the right of Afghan people and that all government spokespersons were obliged to provide information to journalists without any discrimination.

pk/ma

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