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Afghan Government Accused Of Censorship

(RFE/RL) PRAGUE, June 20, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has voiced dismay at recent Afghan government initiatives aimed at "imposing censorship and self-censorship."

The Paris-based group says it is "absolutely outrageous" that the Afghan authorities should tell the privately owned media what to say and write.

According to RSF, the government has sent a list of bans and restrictions to the Afghan media organizations, including a ban on interviews and reports that are against the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

The directive also tells journalists not to interview or film Taliban, not to read the "provocative statements of armed organizations," not to demoralize the army, and not to publish reports and interviews that are against the government's foreign policy.

The document calls on the media to disclose "the real face of terrorists" and to promote the "spirit of resistance" of the armed forces.