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The Message of His Excellency President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on World Press Freedom Day

Since the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has consistently supported the great achievements of Free Press, and has guaranteed as per the Constitution and Media Law, freedom of expression and free operation of media in the country, understanding the importance of free operation of media and appreciating the value of freedom of expression, protect this great value and support it in the framework of law. The growth of free media and further institutionalization of freedom of expression require cooperation between the government, media workers and the citizens.

It is a tremendous honor that despite unfavorable security situation, Afghanistan has moved higher in the ranking of the World Press Freedom Index this year than regional countries and in the latest instance, one of Afghanistan’s media has earned the Press Freedom Hero Award granted to Lotfulah Najafizada from ToloNews by the Reporters Sans Frontières. At the same time, we reiterate that this is not sufficient, as we expect our media and journalists to strive further through standard and professional work, to lift Afghanistan’s position even higher in the ranking.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, with the commitments that it had made during the elections to the media leaders, has taken meaningful steps in support of media and institutionalization of freedom of expression in the country. Passing the law on access to information; developing the statute on founding of private media; developing the procedure on security and safety of journalists and media; and undertaking a review of the cases of killings of journalists are amongst the measures that have been taken in this regard.

The Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan expects the leadership of media to take the ground-breaking steps in implementation of the Statute on Founding of Private Media in support of journalists.

Without a doubt, freedom of press is a foundational pillar in the nascent democracy in our country.  The journalists who come up with accurate and balanced investigative reports have an effective role in solidifying the pillars of democracy in the country. To that end, the government entities are obliged to take constructive measures concerning implementation of the recommendations of investigative reports.

It may not be out of place here to send blessings and prayers to the souls of the martyrs of freedom and journalism, and commend the brave and creative work of our journalists in different areas in the country.

In closing, to further support and strengthen Freedom of Press, on behalf of myself and the First Lady who also serves as patrons of Freedom of Expression, I appoint Mr. Nader Nadery as Ambassador at-large for Freedom of Expression.

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan