However, it retains broad restrictions on content that is "contrary to the principles of Islam or offensive to other religions and sects" and "matters leading to dishonoring and defaming individuals." The legislation also establishes a government-appointed commission with the power to decide if journalists who contravene the law should face court prosecutions or fines.
Critics of the law have alleged that its prohibition of "anti-Islamic" writings is overly vague and has led to considerable confusion within the journalistic community on what constitutes permissible content.
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V Y Z LE=Legal Environment PE=Political Environment EE=Economic Environment Afghanistan Not Free LE: 21 PE: 28 EE: 20 Total Score: 69 The environment for Afghanistan's fledgling media worsened slightly in 2005 as journalists faced an increase in attacks and legal harassment during the year.
Religious conservatives also targeted the progressive Tolo TV, which had been criticized by clerics for airing programs that "oppose Islam and national values." In May, a popular female television presenter who had worked at Tolo was murdered, possibly by family members who did not approve job, and other program hosts received threats or were forced off the air, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.Although registration requirements remain in place, authorities have granted more than 250 publications licenses, and several dozen private radio stations and eight television stations are now broadcasting, with the expansion of independent print and broadcast outlets continuing in 2005.In one of several cases, two reporters working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty were arrested in July by intelligence services in Konar province and were detained for a week without charge.Many practice self-censorship or avoid writing about sensitive issues such as Islam, national unity, or crimes committed by specific warlords.
Article 34 of the new constitution, passed in January 2004, provides for freedom of the press and of expression.The May 2004 press law guarantees the right of citizens to obtain information and prohibits censorship.