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The Taliban suspend two TV stations in Afghanistan for neglecting Islamic and national values

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Islamabad, April 17: The Taliban have suspended the activities of two TV stations in Afghanistan, alleging they failed to “consider national and Islamic values.” An official from the Information Ministry’s Media Violations Commission, Hafizullah Barakzai, said a court will investigate files on the two Kabul-based stations.

Noor TV and Barya TV cannot operate until the court gives its verdict.

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“Despite repeated warnings and recommendations, Noor TV and Barya TV did not follow journalistic principles, they did not consider national and Islamic values,” Barakzai said on Tuesday.

He gave no further details on the alleged violations.

Many journalists lost their jobs after the Taliban takeover in 2021, with media outlets closing over a lack of funds or because their staff left the country.

Women journalists face additional hardships because of work bans and travel restrictions.

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There was no immediate comment from the two broadcasters.

Noor TV, which began broadcasting in 2007, is backed by the country’s former foreign affairs minister and leader of Jamiat-e-Islami party, Salahuddin Rabbani.

Barya TV began operations in 2019 and is owned by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the former prime minister, and the warlord leader of Hizb-e-Islami party who is still based in Kabul.

The Afghanistan Journalist Center called the suspensions an illegal act by the Taliban-controlled government. It also said the suspensions were another step toward further media restrictions in the country.

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In its annual report from 2023, the center said it documented at least 168 instances of violations of journalists’ rights, including one death and 61 arrests.

Although the numbers reflected a decrease compared to 2022, when the center recorded 260 incidents, the center noted that eight media outlets were banned in 2023 Five were temporarily barred from operating, while three remained banned outright.

Despite promising a more moderate rule, the Taliban have imposed their interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah, in many aspects of daily life.

During their first time in power, in the late 1990s, the Taliban barred most television, radio and newspapers in the country. (AP)

 

 

 

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