Peaceful demonstration in London in support of freedom of expression in Afghanistan
By: Abdul Ali Faiq
A number of Afghan students, journalists, human rights activist, community association leaders organized a peaceful demonstration in front of the Amnesty International office in London on 15th May 2007.
The main aims of the demonstration were:
· Promoting public awareness on freedom of expression, urging the international community to press the Afghan government and the Taliban against the violation of the law on mass media in Afghanistan.
· Expressing serious concerns over the increased restrictions on independent media.
· Appealing to the international community to take serious note of the issue and prevent the Afghan government from harming the democratic rights.
· Highlighting a number of incidents, such as the arbitrary orders of the attorney general on the arrest of the staff of a number of TV stations, censorship on Lemar TV, draft of a repressive medial law, attack on Tolo TV, negligence over the fate of journalist Naqshbandi, as clear examples of pressure on the private media.
· Concerned about forced removal of thousands of Afghan refugees by Iranian government, the urgent request the International human right organizations and the UN to send immediate humanitarian aid to the deported Afghans and take appropriate measures to persuade Iranian government in reconsidering its deportation policy towards hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees in Iran.
· The demonstration ended at 2:00 pm with the submission of a resolution to the Amnesty International office. The Amnesty International office promised to convey their message to concerned sources.