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Why the Payman daily was closed?

Saturday 7 February 2009

All the versions of this article: [English] [فارسى]

Unfortunately Payman daily has stopped due to censorship and detaining its journalists. Kabul Press condemns any pressure on media and journalists and hope this daily paper returns back to media family in Afghanistan.

Why the Payman daily was closed?

Latest article posted on Payman website

The payman daily finally quitted all of its operations since it has been under big pressure from some sources which are against democracy and freedom of speech. The cause of this pressure was that the staff of the newspaper inadvertently published an article which had similar title with another article containing ambiguous judgements about the religion of Islam and that mistake became a subject of anger among people and led to big protests and demonstrations in some parts of the country.

The daily’s staff who were first noticed of their mistake immediately carried an apology in another issue of the paper and continued to publish it the nest days in order to throw light on the recent incident . This action convinced those people who were previously familiar with the paper, so they don’t blame it further but on the other hand, some people who constantly criticized and were opposed with the newspaper from the beginning of its first issue, exploit from the existing

circumstance for their benefit and tried to politicize the case for impeding its publications.

According to some rumors, it was said that some of the high ranking officials in the government were involved in putting pressure on the daily from the start of the incident. It is also said that they attempted to gather some of the opponent groups of the paper and used the people’s beliefs as a tool for putting more pressure on the daily in order to prevent its aftermath publications.

some other rumors say that the president hamid karzai, himself, was overwhelmed by the critical mood of the paper and the kind of independent information which it reflects. therefore, some of the people say that mr karzai might be behind of such pressures on the newspaper.

Hence, just after one day from publishing the fabled article, security officials raided the headquarters of the paper and arrested several of its journalists but freed all of them except the head of the news pages and jailed him for ten days. Along with these pressures, some of its editorial staff received threatening calls and verbal attacks.

We, the paper’s team, believe that according to the constitution this case must be prosecuted by the media regulatory commission which is related to the information and cultural ministry and it should have not be intervened by the prosecutor general. It should be mentioned that since our daily has been published nearly for one year it worked as a free and independent vehicle, thereupon it is considered as an advocate of freedom of speech and as a transparent source of information which beside these advantages it also respected to the moral values and people’s cultural and religious sensitivities.

Our main aim was to inform people of the facts with accuracy and neutrality, thus this intention was the cause of its popularity among different groups of people in almost large parts of the country.

Fidelity to the principle and respect to the laws of journalism were the basic elements of its reputation among its readers to observe it as a reliable source for making their voice heard. But the paper can not last anymore because it is under much pressure from some governmental organizations. And since we fear that our rationale will be endangered by our oppositions or they might get it changed into their benefits, therefore we must declare that we will stop all of our operations for ever, despite the government of Afghanistan has vowed to esteem any democratic movement such as freedom of speech and has received billions of dollars from donor countries for establishment of such modern and global values.

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