Delaying Media Law

Information and Culture Minister, Karim Khuram is delaying the Media Law.

Information and Culture Minister, Karim Khuram is delaying the Media Law.

Last month the parliament had called for impeachment of Information and Culture Minister, Abdul Karim Khurram regarding the delay in implementation of Media Law passed by the parliament long ago. But unfortunately, majority members of the parliament, including those favoring the impeachment, voted in favor of the Minister.

The Minister is accused of intentionally delaying Media Law which says National Tv and Radio should be privatized and out of Information Ministry’s influence. The Media Law says the state-owned television RTA (Radio Television Afghanistan) should be run by an independent commission not controlled from Information and Culture Ministry. The decision-makers have been emphasizing on removal of this article or amendment that the Information Minister should head the commission. But MPs, media and civil society have been asking of a commission consisting of members from all three organs of the state, MPs, media and civil society.

The law needs to be signed by President before coming into affect but yet it has not been signed. There are some other articles of the law that gives  more freedom of expression. Another reason its delayed, is the presidential and provincial council elections. Where the Government/Karzai want to use RTA as his propaganda tools to gain public support and popularity. The Administration is not interested in bringing the state-owned television channels and print media under the control of an independent commission. Strong rivals  of Karzai such as Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai accuse him of using the state-owned media in his favor during the election.

Its pity that the Media Law is yet not implemented after being approved from the parliament for two times.  International media has never noticed this Afghan issue because their headlines mostly hit insurgency and coalition casualities.

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1 Comment

Filed under Afghan Media

One response to “Delaying Media Law

  1. My far, this bill has good intentions.

    So was the Minister of Information and Culture impeached? And where does the bill stand at the moment?

    In the Western press, we read that Ashraf Ghani is complaining about Karzai using state media for his benefit, but little is said about how specifically Karzai is doing this and no mention of Karzai manipulating the law or in this case, choosing to ignore it.

    Can’t the Afghan Supreme Court intervene in this matter?

    By the way, great blog. It is very informative to read the perspectives of an Afghan journalist inside Afghanistan.

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