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Afghanistan trying to curb news media

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KABUL, Afghanistan, May 7 (UPI) — Afghanistan’s government is attempting to curb the nation’s independent news media, which have flourished since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

For the past year, The New York Times reported, the Afghan government has been trying to quell the growth of the independent news media, as government officials try to fend off accusations of corruption and ineffectiveness. Because of government worries, Parliament is considering amendments that critics say would undo much of the press freedom that has been achieved since the Taliban’s fall.

Aqa Fazil Sancharaki — director of the Afghanistan National Journalists’ Union, which has been fighting the amendments — said he was not optimistic. He said one of his main concerns is the possible establishment of a media commission under strong government control.

“The government does not want to see and hear about its corruption and weaknesses on the media,” said Shukria Barakzai, a member of Parliament and a former journalist.

The proposal before Parliament would rule out any coverage seen as violating the provisions of Islam or insulting other religions, the Times reported.

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Written by afghandevnews

May 7, 2007 at 5:08 pm

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