Afghan Biographies

Mass Media Commission


Name Mass Media Commission
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Background
History and Biodata

Head of Mass Media Commission:
Khpelwak Sapai (20160118)

Background:
The commission was established based on the verdict 16, article 64 of the Afghanistan’s constitution, amendment of article 42 and 43, and supplement of article 44, with 7 members picked up, considering their professionalism, work experience in journalism field and gender, aiming to monitor financial resources and activities of the media outlets as well as issuing licenses to them. The present commission has got 4 male and 3 female members. (20160118)

In compliance with article 42 of the Media Public Affairs law, Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) decided to dissolve the media complaint commission, which will be no longer eligible. The ministry determined to establish the Mass Media Commission after consultation with media outlets, journalists and legal advisors.
It was demand of media for more than five years. The commission chaired by former minister, Saiyed Makhdom Raheen has served largely as a cudgel to intimidate the press, with the minister insisting on “apologies” from journalists when they publish stories critical of the government or of powerful interests, especially in the remote provinces. The ministry mostly turned a blind eye to officials and warlords who intimidate, threaten, or even physically attack on journalists.

The Mass Media Law were passed by parliament and approved by the president in 2009. It includes provisions for an improved complaints process via a Mass Media Commission (MMC), staffed by 7 persons with journalistic qualifications for periods of 2 to 3 years. It revealed that the method of work and activities of the commission shall be regulated by separate bylaw.

Article 43 states that the Commission shall have the duty and authority to review application for print media and online media and proposing their registration and issuance of license to Ministry of Information and Culture, monitor the activities of the mass media, review the complaints by the mass media and solve their legal disputes, refer mass media violations with criminal nature to justice institutions, provide technical consultations to the officials of mass media, supervise the financial, administrative and broadcasting affairs of the National Radio TV, scrutinize annual budget of the State-owned radio (RTA) and submit annual report to the High Media Council.

The law also includes a High Media Council to which the commission should report, neither of these bodies was functioning by May 4, 2015. Instead, a Media Violations Investigation Commission, focused mainly on complaints by officials against journalists, continued to function. (20150506)

Last Modified 2016-01-18
Established 2016-01-18