With the Taliban under control, press freedom is dead in Afghanistan

Shortly after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, terror group spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban would do no harm to journalists and media personnel in the country, and said assured that the Taliban would let the private media in Afghanistan continue to be ‘free’ and ‘independent’. However, it included a caveat: the media must operate within “cultural frameworks” deemed appropriate by the Taliban. Speaking at a press conference held by the Taliban in Kabul, Mujahid said:

We are committed to the media within our cultural frameworks. Private media can continue to be free and independent. They can continue their activities

However, hours after the press conference, news agencies reported that the Taliban were looking for journalists working with international news networks. For example, DW, a German news network, reported that the Taliban were looking for one of their journalists. Unable to find him, they killed a member of his family.

There have been other reports of incidents that worry journalists – both men and women in the industry. For example, in a recent article published by the Washington Post, Lotfullah Najafizada, the director of Tolo TV, a popular news channel in Afghanistan, expressed his insecurity about the future of journalism in the country. “I knew that if we closed, restarting the channel would have been much more difficult,” he said, as Tolo TV continued to broadcast despite the collapse of the government followed by the departure of the president from the country.



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