FSH asks Afghan gov’t, Taliban to respect impartiality of media

NAI stresses on freedom of media as ‘redline’ for Istanbul meeting

Ahead of the upcoming Istanbul meeting, Nai, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, stresses that the media and freedom of expression must be considered as the “redline” for the negotiating parties in the meeting.

In a statement issued today, April 12, the organization urged the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad as “initiator” of the Afghan peace talks to define the freedom of expression and achievements of the Afghan media as “redlines” and encourage the negotiating sides to respect it.

The statement further noted that the Afghan media community is concerned about the future of media, access to information, and freedom of expression to be compromised in the Istanbul peace meeting.

Nai has called on the Afghan government and the Taliban – as main negotiating parties –  to respect the demands of the Afghan people and the media community. It also noted that the two sides should not let the achievements of the Afghan media be harmed.

This comes as the media and journalists experienced a deadly year in Afghanistan with more than 10 media workers, including female journalists, were killed in targeted violence in the capital Kabul, Nangahar, Helmand, and other provinces.

Though the Taliban remained tight-lipped or even rejected some target killing of journalists attributed to the group, the Afghan government blamed the militant group for such attacks.