Officials: Media, information access laws to be put into effect

KABUL (TOLO News): Officials of the Ministry of Information and Culture said that the government will soon implement laws pertaining to the mass media and access to information.

At a meeting in Herat, the press deputy of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Hayatullah Mahajer Farahi, said that these laws would be made slightly different and made available to the media.

“The prior law has been sent to the leadership of the Islamic Emirate with a slight change, and after its confirmation and approval by the leadership, it will be accessible to all media,” Farahi said.

Journalists in Herat welcomed the Ministry of Information and Culture’s initiative and expressed their frustration the lack of laws.

“It is very good that these two laws, which were in effect during the previous government, should also remain in effect under this government,” said Mohsen Karimi, a journalist.

“It is beneficial to operate within the framework of a law and it makes it easier for journalists to access information,” said Marjan Wafa, another journalist.

Local officials in the province of Herat said that all governmental organizations must give reporters and the media relevant information.

“Access to information is not only the right of the media; it is also the right of the people, who should be kept informed,” said Naeemullhaq Haqqani, director of the information and culture department of Herat.

“The economic status of Afghanistan’s media, particularly in the province of Herat, is concerning. Due to financial difficulties, we have let go of many of our staff,” said Habibullah Rahmani, the manager of a local radio station in Herat.

However, officials of Herat’s ministry of information and culture said that the ministry is also attempting to address the financial difficulties facing the country’s media.

The Media Violations Commission is meant to expand its operations to the provinces, according to the Ministry of Information and Culture.