Afghan Ambassador's Message on World Press Freedom Day 3 May 2018
Ambassador’s Message on World Press Freedom Day 2018
Today, May 3, 2018 marks the World Press Freedom Day. Freedom of Press has been one of the key pillars of democracy in Afghanistan. Since 2001, the government of Afghanistan has been committed to protecting the freedom of press. Media including press plays a vital role, through neutral reporting, is not only sharing information but also bringing changes in political, social, economic and cultural areas.
Afghanistan has achieved major milestones since 2001. Currently, the country has more than 55 local TV channels, around 170 radio stations, 1500 newspapers, and thousands of printing presses; the majority of which are owned by the private sector.
In 2015, the Government established an Oversight Commission on Access to Information, and in 2017 launched a National Strategy on Access to Information. According to UNESCO’s 2017 ranking, Afghanistan is ranked forth in terms of freedom of media among 13 South Asian and Central Asian countries. Similarly, Reporters Without Borders Organization labeled Afghanistan as one of the most accountable governments to media.
A significant portion of credit related to press and media achievements in Afghanistan goes to its brave journalists and reporters, without whom Afghanistan would not be standing where it is today. They have been in the frontline. The recent inhumane terrorist attack on journalists on Monday 30 April 2018 in Kabul and Khost, which took the lives of 10 competent, dedicated and young professional journalist is an evidence of their sacrifice towards freedom of expression and press. Unfortunately, around 100 journalists and reporters have lost their lives, while on duty, since 2001 in Afghanistan.
While I strongly condemn the killing of journalists in recent attacks and brutal and heartless attacks on our civilians, I should reassure that the Government of Afghanistan is committed to protecting the journalists and reporters and will continue to support them and the freedom of press.