Text of report by independent Afghan newspaper Arman-e Melli on 1 September
The High Council of the Supreme Court summoned the chief editor of the daily Arman-e Melli [Mir Haidar Motahar] on Thursday [30 August] to explain the editorial published on Monday [27 August].
The editorial had commented on the remarks of the [northern]
The chief editor of Arman-e Melli was therefore summoned to the High Council of the Supreme Court. The head of High Council Secretariat of the Supreme Court first explained the reason behind the summoning of the chief-editor. Then, after making a friendly comment on the positive role of freedom of media and expression and their responsibility, Professor Abdol Salam Azimi, the Chief Justice, said: We seriously support freedom of expression and me! dia but hope that the media report based on the reality, act according to the law and observe balance, justice and realistic approach.
A number of media such as the daily Arman-e Melli criticize the justice and judicial institutions of the country but do not reflect the achievements and positive changes in the justice organs as required, said [Azimi].
The chief justice added: Today, verdict has been issued on tens of thousands of accused and criminal cases. Changes and replacements have been made in all courts in the centre and provinces for better working orientation which the media should touch to these issues in a just manner.
He also said that the judicial organs face huge problems such as security issues.
Today, how can a judge issue verdict against a convict while there is no one to protect his life.
"Our courts even do not have buildings in a number of provinces and districts and a number of heads of courts do not enjoy transportation fa! cilities whether in the capital and provinces. We have tried to solve these problems to some extent. In such a situation, how can a judge make judgement."
Likewise, Dr. Bahoddin Baha [a member of the High Council of the Supreme Court], made a similar friendly complaint about the media, especially the daily Arman-e Melli, and said: Today, the Pol-e Charkhi Prison [Afghanistan's main prison] is full of criminals and decisions have been made on their cases by justice and judicial organs and that the final verdicts have also been issued. To which organs do these affairs belong to and why do the media only speak about corruption.
If someone find difficulties with a judge, it would be better if he refers to the High Council of [Supreme Court] to have their problem solved and to take necessary action.
The media should not generalize and instead make point finger at specific cases of corruption and injustice to solve the problems the people are facing with the justice and judicial organs. They should not inappropriately criticize to! undermine the justice organs.
Similarly, other members of the High Council expressed their views on the issue and finally asked the chief editor of Arman-e Melli to give the Supreme Court the document proving the [allegations] published on 27 August editorial.
At the end, Mir Haidar Motahar, the chief editor of Arman-e Melli, told members of the High Council: The Arman-e Melli daily has always been cooperating with the government and non-government organizations, especially the Supreme Court, on promoting awareness. He said the daily Arman-e Melli had always reflected important news and the achievements of this institution. "From now on, we will again try to continue our cooperation and inform people about the positive changes that take place in the judicial organs."
The Arman-e Melli chief editor promised members of the High Council to provide the [High Council] Secretariat with the document in support of editorial of 27 August 2007.
Source: Arman-e Melli,