Afghan journalists condemn ban on reporting during vote

Afghanistan ordered international and domestic media on Tuesday to impose a blackout on coverage of attacks during Thursday's presidential election after series of blasts.

Afghan journalists condemn ban on reporting during vote

Afghanistan ordered international and domestic media on Tuesday to impose a blackout on coverage of attacks during Thursday's presidential election after series of blasts.

Two decrees were issued, one from the Foreign Ministry banning all broadcasts of information about attacks while polls were open, and the other from the Interior Ministry requiring reporters to keep away from the scene of any incidents.

"This decision will control the negative impact of the media. If something happens, this will prevent them from exaggerating it, so that people will not be frightened to come out and vote," Siamak Herawi, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, told Reuters.

However, the Head of the Afghan Independent Journalists' Association (AIJA) said the decrees would not stop Afghan and foreign journalists from providing information to the public during the crucial election period.

"It shows the weakness of the government and we condemn such moves to deprive people from accessing news," Rahimullah Samander told Reuters.

Along with privately run TV and radio stations as well as newspapers and magazines, there are also scores of international media covering the elections.

"All domestic and international media agencies are requested to refrain from broadcasting any incidence of violence during the election process from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m on 20 August 2009," said a version of one decree released in English by the Foreign Ministry on behalf of the Afghan Security Council.


Reuters

Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2009, 17:17
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