Abdul Manan Shewa-e-Sharq, the deputy minister of information and culture, and a number of media officials have accused the Afghan government and peace negotiating teams in Doha of not sharing information from the peace negotiations. They insist the media should have better access to developments at the talks.
A number of journalists who went to Doha to cover the opening ceremony of the peace negotiations were forced to return to Kabul prematurely by Afghan officials, they claim, despite having month-long visas. The Ministry of Information and Culture says the media should not be left out from the Doha proceedings.
Media censorship is illegal, and the Afghan government is united in protecting everyone’s freedom of expression. We therefore wish that all senior Afghan government leaders as well as Taliban representatives in Doha do not limit or censor the Afghan media reporting the negotiations,” said Sharq, deputy minister.
“What occurred in Doha and what our media knows for a fact is that the government is playing a game...They are attempting to censor and shut off Afghan media from reporting on the negotiations,” said Najiba Ayoubi, Head of the Killid Group.
“What happened in Qatar, mentioned by Ms. Ayoubi, was a deliberate attempt to block the media from accessing information.” Said Jailani Zowak, Head of Kabul News TV.