Restrictions on Media Work and Reading Fatiha on Freedom of Expression in Afghanistan
It has been 400+ days now that Taliban dominated Afghanistan, and almost read the Fatiha of freedom of speech.
Their dominating nature, started to show itself from the very beginning of the ruling by blocking, restricting and even shutting down some of well-known media.
As the reports revealed that after political turnover, the number of active media were dramatically decreased from 500 to 250, which is almost a half of all audio, video, print and online media actively working in Afghanistan.
One way or another, Taliban are the root cause for the media in Afghanistan.
Most of these media were closed due to economic problem as a result of Taliban dominance, others due to security threads and rules and regulation of the new government.
One well-known example of these media is “Pursesh news agency” which had effective publication and popularity in Afghanistan for years.
“After Taliban domination in Afghanistan along with economic issues, Taliban made new rules for media which hardly affected us from pursuing our jobs, and eventually after 10 years of hard work they abandoned our news agencys’ activities” said Mujtaba Quraishi, the director of Pursesh news agency.
As Mr. Qurishy addressed, Taliban member has attacked their media office right after they dominated Kabul. They destroyed all the documents and media equipment. In addition, a few days later they were arrested and tortured Mr. Qurishy along with his colleagues using different ambiguous and senseless reasons.
He added “By passing every day the percentage of threats and risks were increasing from Taliban members, and finally we flew from Afghanistan to continue our publishing from another country. But as it seemed that it was not enough and we still receive threats and blackmails which left us mentally disturbed.” Said Quraishy.
Mukhtar Negah one of Afghan journalist who is working for a long time with this media was arrested by the Taliban members on October of 2021. This happened when he was writing many reports in support of Afghan girls’ education and Afghan women right to freedom under the nose of Taliban.
They kept him for almost three nights under torture. Later on, they arrested their two other colleagues called Shazia and Muntazer.
Not to mention that the last report of UNAMA shows that after Taliban domination in Afghanistan more than 200 violence’s recorded against the journalist. Since this number is subject to increase, they called Afghanistan a dangerous country for media and journalists.
At the same time Reporter without border “RSF” and Free association of Afghan journalists have published a report about media and freedom of speech situation in Afghanistan which revealed that during the Taliban domination in Afghanistan more than 200 media stopped their activities and around 6400 reporters lost their jobs.
[WriterTamana Bahar,an Afghan female journalist who has been working since 2013 in this field. After 2018 when she joined the government of Afghanistan as an employee she continued her duty as a freelancer. During this time, there are many video and print reports which have been published from different national media of Afghanistan. It is about one year, due to security problems in Afghanistan after Taliban domination in Afghanistan she left her country.She was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1996 almost a few days before the first domination of the Taliban in Kabul. She did her bachelor degree in Afghanistan in Political science. This is her first article for Mahabahu.]
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