“Those committing crime against journalists would be punished,” President Ghani

KABUL: Addressing a ceremony, commemorating the National Journalists’ Day here at the Chahar Chenar Palace on Monday, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani congratulated the day, saying the day was officially included in the country’s calendar after 110 years of struggle of journalists, including those of Mahmood Tarzi, Ghulam Mahiuddin Anis, Gul Pacha Ulfat and others who worked hard in difficult situation for the freedom of speech and press.
“We are celebrating the newly established relation between government and media which shows coordination and support of a democratic system in the country,” President Ghani said as quoted in the presidential press office statement
Hinting to journalists’ supporting fund, the president said the budget for 1397 and 1398 solar years to be transferred and asked the joint committee of government and media as well as the commission on access to information to specify the challenges before access to information in the country.
“Those committing crime against journalists would be introduced to justice organs and would be punished. Problems should be solved through mutual understanding, not by force,” the president added.
The president asked media to introduce the country’s prominent journalists and their views, including Mahmood Tarzi, Abdul Hadi Dawi, Abdul Hai Habibi and other elite figures on the occasion of 100 years of Afghanistan’s independence to Afghan nation.
Meanwhile acting minister of information and culture, Hasina Safi, spoke on the occasion and called establishment of the journalists’ support fund, approval of the law on access to information and establishing of the independent commission on access to information as the key achievements, adding ministry of information and culture was working on a single publication policy with media outlets to better coordinate the publication affairs.
Representing the Journalists Federation, Fahim Dashti applauded government’s steps for exemption of media’s taxing crime, addressing the cases of violence against journalists, approval of the law on access to information as well as establishing of the supporting fund for journalists.
He enumerated a number of problems, including lack of budget for the commission on access to information, prevention of violence against journalists by government officials, approval of laws on pension of the private medias and delay in transferring of the promised donation amount for the journalists support fund.
Presidential senior advisor on communication and strategic affairs Waheed Omar also spoke related to the event, saying the best way to praise the works of the journalists was to ease their access to information. He said government was trying to put end to the culture of ownership on information in the country. The ceremony was ended with conferring high state medals on a number of journalists by the President.
The Kabul Times

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