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Home » World » Media Freedom At Risk As Taliban Censors News Reports In Northern Afghanistan: Report

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Media Freedom At Risk As Taliban Censors News Reports In Northern Afghanistan: Report

Dozens of journalists terrified of reprisals for their reporting fled the country, others went into hiding, and many women were forced out of their positions.

New Taliban Guidelines Stir Fear About the Future of Press Freedom
New Taliban Guidelines Stir Fear About the Future of Press Freedom. (File Photo)

Kabul (Afghanistan): Following the new media guidelines under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the freedom of expression is at risk in Islamic Emirate as the group announced that no media or news agencies are permitted to publish against the interest of the Taliban’s so-called administration. Citing Afghanistan Journalists Safety Committee, Khaama Press reported that the local authorities in northern Badakhshan province have asked media outlets to publish their reports after a review and censorship.

In its latest report, AJSC said that the Taliban in Badakhshan province have announced that no media or news agencies are permitted to publish against the interest of the group. The provincial Director of Information and Culture, Muezuddin Ahmadi has said that women are not allowed to appear in public for reporting purposes, while he has said female media workers can work in the office apart from the male staff, AJSC said, according to Khaama Press.

ALSO READ: Taliban To Be Invited To Third Ministerial Meeting On Afghanistan In China: Pak FM Qureshi

Dozens of journalists terrified of reprisals for their reporting fled the country, others went into hiding, and many women were forced out of their positions. The economic collapse has pummelled smaller outlets too. Nehad Rasana-e-Afghanistan (NAI), an organization supporting media in Afghanistan, said that since the Islamic Emirate rule, over 257 media outlets have ceased operating in the country due to financial challenges as well as restrictions. This includes print, radio and TV stations.

According to the watchdog, over 70 per cent of media workers have become jobless or left the country. The most affected community has been the ones who are actually upholding the freedom of speech and expression. No media could report on corruption, mismanagement, lack of capacity of government or Taliban’s behaviour towards people.

The once-vibrant media industry in Afghanistan has been in free fall since the Taliban seized control last month. Many Afghan journalists fled the country, fearing repression and violence from the new rulers, while dozens more have gone into hiding and are still seeking a way out of Afghanistan.

More than 100 local media companies and radio stations around the country have stopped operating, having either been closed down, taken over by the Taliban or forced out of business for lack of funding, according to local media. Some of the most prominent newspapers have had to cease print operations and now publish only online, amid the country’s sharp economic downturn.

(With Inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ: New Taliban Edict Targets ‘Immoral’ Afghan TV Shows Featuring Women

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