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IEA marks Press Freedom Day, says it supports the media



(Last Updated On: May 3, 2023)

Marking World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) said it supports the media and said the day was an auspicious one for the media.

“The media can enlighten the public mind in the light of national interests and Islamic principles and mediate between the people and the system,” said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi.

He also called on all media outlets for “more commitment and good performance in the media field.”

The UN meanwhile said on Wednesday that Afghanistan’s media hangs “in the balance”.

According to a statement issued by the UN, the organization was concerned about the future of the media in the country. The UN said “journalists forced to work in climate of intimidation and fear amid increased restrictions by the Taliban (IEA) de facto authorities.”

The UN in Afghanistan said since August 2021, large numbers of media professionals have fled Afghanistan, that large numbers of media outlets have closed, “and female journalists have been disproportionately affected with additional restrictions effectively rendering them almost unable to do their job.”

UNAMA also said it had documents numerous instances of human rights violations against journalists and media workers over the past 18 months.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, said World Press Freedom Day was a moment to show solidarity with the Afghan journalists still attempting to maintain independent reporting in the country.

“Journalists are being forced to make editorial decisions based on fear, not public interest. It’s sadly part of a wider trend of declining freedom of expression and access to information,” Otunbayeva said.

This year’s celebration takes place under the theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights”, as the right to freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is a prerequisite and a driver for a flourishing society and the enjoyment of all other human rights.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Information and Culture officials said at a World Press Freedom Day event in Kabul that the Islamic Emirate is committed to supporting the media and that efforts are being made to deal with the problems faced by the media and journalists.

At the same time, officials of the National Union of Free Journalists of Afghanistan say that in the past year, 123 cases of violence against journalists have been registered by security officials.

Officials of the Ministry of Information and Culture say that the Media Violation Commission is up-and-running but that efforts are being made to strengthen its capacity.

May 3 is marked globally as World Press Freedom Day, which was inaugurated by UNESCO in 1993.

In the past year and a half, about 225 media outlets have closed down and of 12,000 media workers in the country, over 1,000 have left Afghanistan, over 7,000 have lost their jobs, of which 2,800 were women.

Currently there are only about 500 women still working in the media industry in the country.

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Almost 700 people including ex-govt officials return home: commission



(Last Updated On: October 1, 2023)

The Commission for Contact with Afghan Personalities says nearly 700 officials of the previous government, politicians, members of the National Council and some experts have returned to Afghanistan since the establishment of the commission early last year.

“Six hundred and eighty people from different countries have returned to the country,” said the commission’s spokesman, Ahmadullah Wasiq.

He stated that among these people are former officials of the old government who worked in various ministries and departments.

He added that currently, a large number of personalities, including politicians and high-ranking officials of the former government, have received application forms to return to the country through this commission, and will come home soon.

“We have distributed hundreds of forms [to them] and our wish is that in the near future many of the people will return to the country, so for now this process is going very well,” Wasiq added.

A number of those who have returned to the country, however, are demanding some changes to the commission, adding that the caretaker government should make effective use of the cadres and experts who return and provide them with work opportunities.

“The method of this process should be changed, such as communicating with experts or elites or politicians. Second, when these people come to Afghanistan, they should be provided with work,” said Amanullah Ghalib, former head of Breshna Sherkat, who also returned to the country recently.

Officials have repeatedly requested Afghans living abroad, including politicians and officials of the previous government, to return to their homeland and continue their normal lives in Afghanistan in accordance with the general amnesty issued by the Islamic Emirate’s supreme leader.

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Hanafi says IEA seeking to promote electronic governance



(Last Updated On: October 1, 2023)

Deputy Prime Minister for Administrative Affairs Abdul Salam Hanafi said on Sunday that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is trying to promote electronic governance in its institutions.

Hanafi said this at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the simplification of administrative processes between the Department of Administrative Reforms and Civil Services, the Ministry of Martyrs and the Disabled, and Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat company.

Hanafi added that the Islamic Emirate is committed to e-governance and is seeking to network government institutions so that the work can be done quickly.

“God willing, we are determined to gradually reform all government institutions. We are seeking to end the paperwork in the departments and we are trying to promote electronic governance among the institutions,” he said.

Hanafi also said that the Islamic Emirate is committed to serving the people and to the development of the country. He also said the government will soon start work on the second phase of Qosh Tepa canal as the first phase is almost complete.

“Alhamdulillah, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is engaged in reconstruction and development works in various fields. The first phase of the Qosh Tepa canal is being completed with our own funds,” he said.

On the other hand, officials in the Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Department said that they are hoping to attract experts and professionals in government offices and want the work to be entrusted to professionals. At the same time, the officials of DABS announced that 118 million afghanis has been collected from strongmen.

“The goal is to prevent corruption. The goal is to show compassion to the oppressed and suffering people. The goal is to avoid spending,” Abdulhanan Arifullah, the general director of the Administrative Reforms and Civil Services Department, said.

Deputy PM Hanafi said that compared to any other institution, the processes in the Ministry of Martyrs and the Disabled need to be simplified because vulnerable people reach out to this institution.

According to him, in the current year, 13.5 billion afghanis have been budgeted for the martyrs, disabled and orphans.

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Afghan embassy in India announces it will cease operations from Oct. 1



(Last Updated On: October 1, 2023)

The embassy of Afghanistan in India’s capital New Delhi will cease operations from Oct. 1, due to a lack of support from India and a reduction in personnel and resources, the embassy said in a statement on social media platform X.

The embassy also said a failure to meet expectations in serving Afghanistan’s interests is another key factor in shutting of the embassy.

“Given these circumstances, it is with deep regret that we have taken the difficult decision to close all operations of the mission with the exception of emergency consular services to Afghan citizens till the transfer of the custodial authority of the mission to the host country,” the embassy said in the statement dated Sept. 30.

In its announcement, the Afghan Embassy also cited challenges like shortage of both personnel and resources available. “The lack of timely and sufficient support from visa renewal for diplomats to other critical areas of cooperation led to an understandable frustration among our team and impeded our ability to carry out routine duties effectively,” the statement read.

The embassy also refuted any “baseless claims” regarding internal strife or discord among its diplomatic staff or any diplomats using the crisis to seek asylum in a third country.

Reuters had reported on Friday that the Afghan embassy in India suspended all operations after the ambassador and other senior diplomats left the country for Europe and the United States where they gained asylum.

India does not recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) as government, and closed its own embassy in Kabul after the IEA took control in 2021, but New Delhi had allowed the ambassador and mission staff appointed by the Western-backed government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to issue visas and handle trade matters.


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