Taliban in Kunduz Brand Critical Reporters as “Traitors”: A Dangerous Struggle for Media Freedom

Local sources in Kunduz report that Taliban intelligence in the province has labeled reporters who criticize the group as “traitors.”

According to sources, Taliban intelligence invited Kunduz journalists to the Information and Culture Directorate of the group on Saturday, May 20.

Taliban intelligence officials in Kunduz have warned the invited journalists that they will face serious consequences if they refrain from criticizing the group’s media output.

The Taliban have emphasized that “cultural traitors” are worse than “military traitors.”

Taliban intelligence continues to demand that media officials in Kunduz refrain from broadcasting music and avoid connecting phone calls from women, except for religious and health programs.

The Taliban have previously referred to armed forces opposing the group as “traitors.”

This is not the first time the Taliban have imposed restrictions on the media and media personnel in Afghanistan.

In addition to these restrictions, threats, insults, detentions, torture, and even the killing of journalists and media personnel by Taliban fighters and intelligence agencies have been documented by organizations defending journalists’ rights.