The new leaders in Afghanistan, the Taliban, have intensified their campaign against free media, arresting journalists while torturing others as well as closing media houses. This information published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) is by Fereshta Abbasi. Here is an excerpt:
“It’s so hard to report from Afghanistan anymore,” a journalist in the eastern province of Nangarhar told me. “Anything can happen, you could be arrested, beaten, tortured or even killed, just for a report or a program.”
On March 28, security officers from the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence raided the offices of four radio stations in the southern city of Kandahar for violating a ban on music and detained six journalists. All were released only after they promised they would never broadcast music again. “I want to leave this job,” one said. “Being a journalist has always been my dream job but not anymore.”
On the same day, Taliban authorities banned outlets in Afghanistan from broadcasting international news programs, including Voice of America and the BBC, in Dari, Pashto, and Uzbek languages. This new restriction is the latest Taliban measure to limit access to independent information.
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