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Demonstrations held against newspaper in Afghanistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) have expressed concern over recent incidents surrounding the publication of an article in the Afghanistan Express daily.

The English daily published an article on 'Islam of Taliban and ISIS' last week. According to reports, extremist Islamic scholars and Afghan Jihadi groups strongly criticised some parts of the article and subsequently there have been a number of demonstrations against the newspaper for publishing the article. One set of demonstrations at an Islamic university called for the owners of the daily to be arrested and for the government to block further publication.

The Afghanistan Express published an apology, which they said was published as a result of a technical mistake. "We deeply apologise for this mistake and want to say that this is against our policy," the newspaper said clarifying that they were not related to any political, religious or any other armed groups.

IFJ said it understood that despite the apology, the hostility against the newspaper has continued. IFJ acting director, Jane Worthington, said: "We believe that there are legal ways to file a case against the paper in media commission if any published contents are contrary to laws. It's undemocratic culture to demonstrate in the streets encouraging for violence against press freedom and freedom of expression."

IFJ further added: "IFJ urges the Afghanistan government to immediately ensure the security of the newspaper and its staff; and persuade those protesting to [pursue] legal ways."

Date posted: November 12, 2014 Last modified: May 12, 2018 Total views: 91