The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) has reported that over the past two years, the Taliban have issued 13 directives systematically limiting media freedom and access to information in the country.
On the occasion of the International Day for Universal Access to Information,” this organization released a statement on Thursday, September 28, asserting that the Taliban demonstrate indifference towards Afghanistan’s Access to Information Law.
According to this institution, Afghanistan has witnessed severe restrictions on media work and an “unprecedented rollback in the field of access to information” over the past two years.
The Taliban’s directives outlined in the Afghanistan Journalists Center’s statement include the following:
- Prohibiting women from working in national radio and television.
- Banning media coverage of civil protests and demonstrations.
- Imposing restrictions on access to information and the dissemination of news and reports.
- Compelling journalists and media outlets to portray the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan.
- Banning the publication of music in the media.
- Prohibiting women from participating in theatrical productions and entertainment programs.
- Segregating the roles and presence of women and men in the media.
- Refusing interviews between women and men.
The statement further adds that these directives also involve:
- Restricting interviews with dissenters and critics of the Taliban.
- Banning the broadcast of international television programs in Afghanistan.
- Imposing restrictions on the publication of commercial advertisements with political, security, and social content.
- Encouraging media self-censorship regarding criticism of Taliban officials.
- Prohibiting filming and video interviews.
- Banning the broadcast of women’s voices in the media.
- Refusing to cooperate with media outlets operating from outside the country.
The Afghan Journalists Center emphasizes that implementing these directives has had severe consequences for media organizations, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and has resulted in severe limitations on access to information and self-censorship.
According to published statistics, during the two years of Taliban rule, the country has witnessed 366 violations of journalists’ rights and media freedom, including the killing of media personnel, threats, detentions, and violent confrontations.