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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.
In the country's underdeveloped economic environment, the majority of media outlets remain dependent on the state, political parties, or international donors for financial support.
However, in September 2004 the first independent radio station supported entirely by private sector funds was inaugurated in Ghazni province.
Despite the absence of government restrictions, barely six percent of the population is able to use the internet on a regular basis.
Access to the Internet and to satellite TV dishes remains largely unrestricted.
Back to Top Albania Partly Free LE: 17 PE: 16 EE: 17 Total: 50 The legal system protects freedom of the press, and it is generally respected by the authorities.
National and local governments continue to own or control several dozen newspapers and almost all of the electronic media, and reporting at these news outlets is generally balanced.
International radio broadcasts in Dari or Pashto, such the BBC, VOA, Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Afghanistan, remain a key source of information for many Afghans.The media played a prominent role in at least two new incidents that proved embarrassing to the government.