In the name of Almighty Allah
Statement of CSHRN in relation to the limitation of freedom of media in Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan / 23. April 2008
Since a long time, a debate is going on about banning Indian series from Afghan private TV channels what in fact has to be regarded as an excuse to start limiting the freedom of media. Such an untimely debate creates big concerns amongst civil society organizations and Afghan citizens about their civil freedoms. They are scared that Afghanistan once again becomes a victim of extremism, a development which would be very difficult and economically as well as humanly very costly to correct. Afghanistan has taken first steps towards cultural freedoms, which make Afghanistan a positive example among countries affected by conflict. Cultural and civil freedoms are essential to the Afghan people and therefore any limitation of them would put obstacles in the way of reconstruction and development.
The Afghan Constitution guaranties human rights; promotes civil rights, freedom of media and freedom of culture. These rights and freedoms are also guaranteed by media law derived from the constitution. Therefore, there is no legal reason to limit the freedom of media in Afghanistan.
The state of Afghanistan ratified the International Conventions on Civil and Political Rights, and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which constitute the main instruments of the United Nations in the field of international human rights protection. For this reason, there is international legal support for Afghanistan and Afghan citizens.
The Afghan state as member of the UN has committed itself also to the Charta of the UN. The UN Charta, which promotes international peace and security, requests its member states to respect human rights and democracy.
The Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN), who is coordinating civil society organizations active in the field of human rights in Afghanistan, expresses its great concern about the limitation of freedom of media. CSHNR asks the Ministry of Culture and Information, civil society organizations and parliament members to organize constructive dialogues in order to settle the issue of freedom of media in an appropriate and reasonable manner.
CSHRN believes and respects the holy Islam and its values. CSHRN declares that nobody should get the opportunity to misuse these holy believes for the own political agenda. According to the Afghan constitution, the president is the guardian of the human rights of the Afghan citizens. Therefore, CSHRN respectfully asks the Afghan president to take measures according to the Afghan constitution to grant the citizens their rights and to use his responsibility and competence to facilitate a solution, which maintains the balance between the values of Islam and national and international civil laws.
CSHRN Steering Committee