Wednesday, June 21, 2006

[No] freedom of speech in Afghanistan

From Democracy Now!:
The BBC has obtained evidence that Afghanistan's intelligence services are putting new restrictions on what Afghan journalists can report. According to a leaked memo, Afghan journalists are no longer allowed to criticize the U.S.-led military coalition, or publish interviews against the government’s foreign policy. The Afghan media has also been instructed to limit the coverage dedicated to the activities of militants and there are now prohibitions on interviewing, filming or photographing men considered terrorist commanders. The government maintains the restrictions are needed to prevent the media from what it describes as glorifying terrorism. A spokesperson for the U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai said "This request is entirely consistent with the principles of the freedoms of speech and press enshrined in the constitution.” One news agency chief said 95% of his stories would be banned if these rules and regulations became law.

Entirely consistent with the principles of the freedoms of speech, eh? War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

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