JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Journalists in eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday said except a few most of government departments refused to share information with them.
They said the government was not committed to the spirit of the law on access to information.
According to Article 64 of the Constitution and second chapter of access to information law and article five of the law, all citizens of the country have right to have access to information.
But Nangarhar based Journalists complain that government officials often refuse allowing them access to information.
Zabihullah Ghazi, a Voice of America (VoA) reporter in Nangarhar, said that only the governor’s spokesman was sharing information with them.
He said, “When we report about a polio case, the relevant authoriy tells us they are not allowed to speak to the media. Most of the district chiefs say the same.”
Shakil Ahmad Sayeed, a worker with Enikas Television in Nangarhar, barring the police headquarters and the governor’s house, the rest of government departments did not share information with them.
He said, “I have several times tried to conduct an interview with the former customs chief, but he has not been replaying.”
Baz Mohammad Abid, a journalist with Mashal Radio , said access to information was every Afghan’s right.
He said, “I have been working as a media person in Nangarhar for the past nine years and I have only been getting information from the governor’s spokesman.”
Rahmatullah Zirmal, Journalists and Writers Independent Association committee’s head in eastern zone, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Nangarhar based journalists faced serious problems regarding access to the information law.
He said, “Only the spokesmen of the governor and police headquarters share information with media outlets.”
He also accused the Access to the Information Commission (AIC) of confining its activities only to Facebook and doing nothing practical in this regard.
Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok that the provincial government was committed to providing information to media outlets if other departmental heads were not willing to share information with journalists.
Meanwhile, Hamdullah Arbab, a AIC commissioner, told Pajhwok that access to information is every each Afghan’s right, saying journalists should demand information based on the AIC procedure.
He rejected allegations that their commission did not work for public awareness about the access to information law.
He said the AIC had created a form if some institutions did not want to cooperate in this regard, they could share the form with them so the organs concerned were introduced to the attorney office.