Government neglects ‘Access to Information’ Act: Nai
Tue Jul 03, 12:27 pm
The ‘Nai’ media support agency accuses the government of neglect by not sending the ‘Access to Information Act’ to the National Assembly for its voting ratification.
Nai officials say months have passed since they have sent the draft Act to the Ministry of Justice but yet the ministry to work on it.
The government, by ignoring the act, wants to restrict the activities of an open media, said Abdul Hamid Khelwatgar, chief executive of Nai.
Officials at the Justice Ministry reject the statements, saying work on the act is one of the main programs of the ministry for this year.
“The right to have access to information is one of the preconditions for freedom of expression in the country. This right already exists in the constitution, and the state officials are obliged to provide accurate information to the citizens,” said a ministry official.
“Afghan citizens under the act’s provisions have the right to gain access to the information of government offices. This right has no limitations unless it is misused against others,” says the article 50 of the constitution.
According to Nai officials, lack of laws protecting information access is the main factor enabling the government to avoid providing information to journalists and to citizens.
The 51-article draft act of access to information also obliges non-governmental organizations to provide information to the citizens.