Today marks the 100th day of Islamic Emirate rule in the country. During this time, along with other sectors of society, the media also experienced changes, including economic problems and restrictions.
So far, the Islamic Emirate has released two lists of principles for the media’s operation which have raised concerns over restrictions of media activities in the country.
However, Islamic Emirate officials have repeatedly said they are committed to protect media achievements and freedom of expression.
“They (Islamic Emirate) said they will work for reporters, but we see no positive results,” Nazifa, a reporter said.
“Recently access to information have been limited which has caused problems for reporters. The recent statement of the Ministry of Virtue and Vice has increased the concerns over restrictions of media activities,” Abdurraqib Fayaz, a reporter said.
Meanwhile, organizations supporting media said they are worried about the possible restrictions against media outlets.
“The recent statement, which has eight articles (from the Virtue and Vice ministry) has raised concerns. We hope the issue is resolved in consultation with the media,” said Hujatullah Mujadedi, head of the Afghanistan Independent Journalists’ Association.
“We urge that the Law on Access to Information, and Media Law, which are not being used now, be amended based on the current situation and in consultation with the media,” said Masroor Lutfi, media officer at Afghanistan National Journalists’ Union.
NAI, an organization supporting media in Afghanistan, said that since the Islamic Emirate rule, over 257 media outlets have ceased operating in the country due to financial challenges as well as restrictions. This includes print, radio and TV stations. According to NAI, over 70 percent of media workers have become jobless or left the country.
Reports show that during these 100 days, six reporters have lost their lives in various incidents including attacks by unknown armed men, explosions, committing suicide and traffic incidents.
“The media faces financial problems, and many media workers have lost their jobs,” said Jan Aqa Hakimi, a reporter.
The Islamic Emirate officials, however, have said they support media in the country.