There is a demonstration in front of the headquarters of the biggest Afghan private TV station, Tolo TV in Kabul, following urge of the Afghan Attorney General on closure of the TV station.
According to Abdul Jabar Sabet the Attorney General, the TV Station had made false report on his comment. He claimed that he was saying that the judicial system was not good, but then reported by the TV he was saying it is the country’s system which is not good. Sabet is very unhappy by this report, as this left impression that he was speaking against the government, not the judicial system.
The protesters—the supporters of Sabet—also brought the name of religion and Prophet in their action. The scale of the protest is not really huge—some media reports there are 200 protesters, but I just saw only some dozens. Anyway, the protesters claim there would be 500 people joining their action, a number supposed to be alarming for the capital’s security. By noon, arrive some vehicles bringing more protesters in front of the TV station.
Tolo TV’s directors denied Sabet’s accusation, insisted that they did not distort Sabet’s contentions. According to AFP report, several police officers were dispatched to Tolo’s headquarters and seized some people including the editor-in-chief of the TV station, and held them for an hour, allegedly beating them.
Being media worker in Afghanistan means you will have to deal with unprecedented incidents. The media laws is due for revision by the Afghan’s parliament, which is unfortunately dominated by warlords.
An alleged false report of a senior officer may turn up to the force of closure, detainment, beating, and God knows what else.
And now, comes the God’s sacred name. By His name, it seems easy for everybody to act God. The protesters accused Tolo TV broadcast un-Islamic programs, like erotic Turkish and American video clips, or Indian TV programs. The TV is broadcasting the nationwide popular Indian serial (the story of mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law), which shows powerful position of women in an Indian family, and according to the protesters, this is very un-Islamic and against the Afghan culture.
Some police are placed in the area to guarantee that this demonstration won’t be anarchistic. After some speech on their support towards the Attorney General, the protesters urged to see the TV station director. They refuse to leave before meeting the very man. They then sit on the streets. They say they will sit intact until the director appears. The man doesn’t come up. It was not too long though, the crowd decides to leave the area. I personally think it is good choice anyway, as sitting under fierce sun on boiling asphalt is not good for health.
This demonstration reminds me to the euphoria of democracy Indonesia enjoyed right after the fell down of Soeharto regime. Everybody was enthusiastic of ‘expressing aspiration’, everybody was drunk by democracy wine. Everybody flooded the streets for ‘democratic demonstrations’ without understanding what they were yelling about as many of the demonstrators were uneducated or misinformed, or their aspiration were bought by behind-the-screen powers by a box of instant food or a piece of T-shirt, or some small money. And what kind of democracy you are talking about, if the warlords still rule, and it is the rule of war that you have to follow?