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OSI Forum: Press Freedom in Afghanistan
Location: OSI-New York
Event Date(s): November 24, 2003
Speaking at an OSI Forum in New York on November 24, 2003, two leaders of Afghanistan’s budding independent press said significant barriers to free speech remain in place in the country more than two years after the Taliban's removal.
The speakers—Abdul Salmay Hamed, a journalist, and commentator and poet A.H. Wareed Warasta—said most Afghans are unaccustomed to expressing their ideas in public, and thus are taking a cautious approach towards efforts to foster free speech.
The two experts described Afghanistan’s free media development as plagued by self-censorship and a lack of journalistic standards. Hamed, who has won a Committee to Protect Journalists award for standing up to censors, said many Afghan journalists were timid and unsure of what the role of a free press should be in a democracy.
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