Facing uncertainty, the Afghan media community continues to face overwhelming challenges, a media watchdog said.
The Afghanistan’s National Journalists' Union held a gathering un Kabul on Saturday to share its findings from a survey carried out to assess the status of freedom of expression in the country.
The survey--which interviewed 500 media workers, 25 percent of whom were women--indicated that the freedom of expression has diminished in the country.
“The interference by the (Ministry) of information and culture is a big challenge in the provinces. Nearly 30 percent (of interviewers) said the withholding of interviews by the Islamic Emirate is a serious problem. Over 50 percent said that the people are afraid of the situation and are not willing to give interviews,” said Masror Lutfi, head of the union.
Farkhunda is one of the female journalists who has worked for five years in media.
She said that the media environment for women employees has become untenable.
“When female journalists go to a site to cover the event and take information, they are denied by the ministries and others,” she said.
“The Islamic Emirate should be serious in providing information. They (Islamic Emirate officials) don’t provide details on due time,” said Khan Aqa, a journalist.
After the fall of the former government, access to information has been restricted.
“We have said it repeatedly via media that lack of law brings a lot of problems. One of them is double standard toward media organizations,” Lutfi said.
The Islamic Emirate said that the amendment of the access to information law is under assessment.
“The law of access to information and press is under evaluation. Maybe there will not be very much difference (from previous law),” said Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.
According to some media-supporting organizations, over 70 percent of media outlets halted their operations since the Islamic Emirate swept into power.