27 January 2020
Kabul- Afghanistan has joined 34 other countries in signing a British-Canadian led coalition, promising to take action to improve media freedom and the safety of journalists at home and abroad, UK and Canadian embassies in Afghanistan said in a joint statement.
Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh today signed the Global Pledge on Media Freedom on behalf of Afghanistan in ceremony attended by Giles Lever Chargé d’affaires of British embassy, Dave Metcalfe ambassador of Canada and representatives of the Afghanistan federation of journalists and media organizations.
According to the statement, by signing the Pledge, Afghanistan has made the commitment to take action to improve the media freedom environment and the safety of journalists both at home and overseas.
“Following this commitment Afghanistan joins the Media Freedom Coalition, a partnership of 35 countries working together to advocate for media freedom and the safety of journalists.”
Since 2018, the UK and Canada have been co-leading the Global Campaign for Media Freedom. The Campaign seeks to shine a spotlight on media freedom, and in so doing to raise the cost to those abusing it.
Media freedom faces growing threats around the world. Journalists and media organizations are increasingly confronted in their vital work by overly restrictive laws, punitive legal measures, and physical violence. Too often, they pay for their commitment with their lives.
The development of Afghanistan’s media has been one of the great successes since 2001. Freedom of the media and freedom of expression more broadly, is an essential quality of any functioning democracy; people must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to make informed decisions; informed by a strong and robust media.
The UK and Canadian governments congratulate Afghanistan for signing the Pledge and look forward to working in partnership to defend media freedom. Members of the Coalition have agreed to “work to ensure that those who violate or abuse the human rights that underpin media freedom – be they governments or private entities – are held to account.”