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Choose any Press Freedom report by clicking the first letter of the country name.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.The pact, which capped more than two years of negotiations, was considered a key milestone on the path to EU membership, and EU officials said media freedom would be among their priorities as they pressed Albania to make additional structural improvements.The countrys parliament-appointed broadcast regulator, the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRT), continued to face accusations of political influence and incompetence.
Coverage by state-owned broadcasters had favored the incumbents in the run-up to July 2005 elections, and at least four cases of violence against journalists were reported that year, but the country largely avoided a repeat of such problems in 2006.
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.
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.