The Federal Government has called on the Afghan Government to investigate allegations that a study by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has been censored. According to reports, the Afghan authorities have requested changes in the Dari and Pashto versions of a study by the Foundation analyzing the history of Afghan political parties.
In this connection Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (3 March):
"For an academic study by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to be censored is quite unacceptable. It would run counter to the values and standards we and our Afghan partners both want to see respected and upheld. Freedom of expression is an inviolable principle guaranteed under the Afghan constitution.
The work the Konrad Adenauer Foundation is doing in Afghanistan is of great value to the national reconstruction effort. Any attempt to influence the study would also fail to do justice to the Foundation's services to the country.
I have therefore requested the German Embassy to take the matter up with the authorities and am pleased that the Afghan Government has agreed to conduct the necessary investigations with all due speed."
The study in question is a history of Afghanistan's political parties by Thomas Ruttig and was published by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in 2006. Since its first publication it has been translated into several different languages, including – at the request of the Afghan Parliament – the national languages Dari and Pashto. Internationally the study is now deemed the standard work on the subject.