The government’s move to prevent media from seeking information from provincial council members has been met with a strong backlash from legal experts.
Legal experts argue that any move to limit access to information is against the Access to Information Law and is a move to suffocate press freedom and freedom of speech.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Parliament have said that the government should cooperate with the media in terms of access to information instead of imposing restrictions.
This comes a day after Wahid Omar, a top adviser to President Ashraf Ghani on public relations and policy, announced he was limiting local leaders from speaking to the media:
“I have sent a letter to the provincial council members and requested that they do not speak as spokespersons for the security forces and not put themselves in the place of the security agencies,” said Omar.
“The provincial councils, as the representatives of the people, have the right to talk about the security situation in their respective provinces and speak about certain issues,” said legal expert Wahid Farzayee.
“The security institutions also have a legal responsibility to share the information with the people,” said Mohammad Ali Akhlaqi, a member of Parliament.
“Access to information and getting information about the security situation is the fundamental right of the people,” said Ainuddin Bahaduri, the head of the Access to Information Commission.
This follows Tuesday's appointment of General Ajmal Shinwari as the spokesman for the armed forces of Afghanistan. In the future, only the general will be authorized to speak on behalf of the security agencies. who said
This comes as the Taliban has increased their military attacks on government forces across Afghanistan.