Afghan journalists criticize media watchdogs

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Journalists held a gathering in Kabul where they said that they would not recognize any media watchdogs as they are being negligent toward the Afghan media community.

They held a gathering under the heading of “justice for journalists” in Kabul on Wednesday. They claimed that media wachdogs have failed to address the challenges ahead of the Afghan journalists.

“These organizations have not been supportive of journalists, and so the journalists called on the Islamic Emirate and relevant organizations to not recognize these organization as media watchdogs,” said Mohammad Raqib Fayaz, a participant.

“These organizations misused the title of journalist. There are lobbies in the foreign organizations,” said Mubeen Ahmad Muwahid, another participant.

Meanwhile, media watchdogs have various opinions about their activities as the media watchdogs.

“Whenever a journalist has any problem regarding the Afghanistan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA), they can refer to the AIJA,” said Hujatullah Mujadidi, head of the AIJA.

“The individuals who has no legitimate position, they don’t have the authority to dissolve the media organization,” said Sayed Ali Azghar Akbarzada, a member of AIJA.

The participants in the gathering called on the Islamic Emirate to restart activities of the Commission of Media Violation.

There are more than 20 media watchdog organizations in Afghanistan.

Seven journalists released from detention by the Islamic Emirate in Kandahar asked for clear guidelines for the activities of the media and journalists in the province by the Islamic Emirate.

They said the detention of journalists is unjust.

“If the situation continues like this, many journalists will be forced to leave the country,” said Qudratullah Redwan, a journalist.

Agha Shir, who is the head of Sanga, a local radio station, as well reporter for Radio Salam Watandar, is one of the six people arrested and released by the forces of the Islamic Emirate yesterday.

“They closed my eyes and covered my head with a piece of black; at that moment I was very unhappy and thought that I have not worked here as an Afghan citizen or as a journalist in this country,” said Agha Shir, head of the Sanga Radio in Kandahar.

Meanwhile, Kandahari journalists asked the Islamic Emirate to treat journalists well.

“We ask the Islamic Emirate for everything to be done through understanding; common publishing principles and policies should be created,” said Seddiqullah Afghan, head of Tabasom Radio.

“Reporters go to the Taliban with a phone call. they do not need to be mistreated or detained in such a way that our individuals and families are disturbed,” said Taj Mohammad Sahel, a reporter.

Six journalists, including a journalist recently detained by the Islamic Emirate, were released, but the head of Radio Mellat Gha is still in prison.

“Our request is that if any problem arises, it should be resolved through the Ministry of Information and Culture and through dialogue,” said Hujatullah Mujaddidi, head of the Free Association of Afghan Journalists.

Earlier, the arrest of the journalists provoked internal and external reactions.—Tolonews