The spokesperson to the ministry of communications and information technology (MCIT) Najib Nangial told The Kabul Times that WhatsApp and Telegram messaging services have been temporarily blocked due to technical problems, adding freedom of speech is the people’s right and we are committed on it.
He said WhatsApp and Telegram were connecting applications, through which no one can share his/her view. In fact, blocking these two apps would never affect freedom of speech and the government will cooperate with media in the respect, he added.
The apps would unblock when the technical problems are solved, he went on to say.
At the same time, Nai—supporting open media in Afghanistan said that the government has acted in contrary with constitution and media law and it would harm freedom of speech in the country. Head of the entity, Mujib Khelwatgar asked for reactivation of these two apps and said, the people should not keep silent against the move. He said some government organizations were acting against all the country’s enforced laws and asked for blocking a number of social media such as WhatsApp and Telegram. He added if today WhatsApp and Telegram are blocked tomorrow a printing media and the day after tomorrow a TV channel would be blocked.
Nai said it has already interviewed with 130 journalists in five provinces whom WhatsApp and Telegram were blocked. A social media user, Rohullah said, “Freedom of speech is the people’s right and no one can take it from us. Blocking these two apps is not a good step, because huge number of people uses these two apps and their blockage would turn the communications slow.”
Farida another social media user said, “There is no doubt that any media can play key role on awakening public minds. I think, when a government takes the power, it should provide many facilities to people, as we have witnessed audiovisual and social media development over the last seventeen years and the people don’t want to lose these achievements. Thus, the government should instead support the media and don’t block them.” At the same time, the people believe that the reasons behind blocking these two apps are not clear, but if the people positively use social media, it would be very effective. Because, communications through social media can provide the ground for many opportunities.
This comes as still there are many problems in social media and it is hoped they are solved as soon as possible.