Under the Taliban, Afghan journalists are increasingly harassed: Reports

According to the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Taliban administration in Afghanistan is increasing "harassment" of journalists and media workers. Threats, interrogations, and arbitrary arrests of journalists have grown, according to RSF, and these measures are in violation of Afghan press law, according to media reports.

At least 50 journalists and media workers have been imprisoned since the Taliban took control in August last year, with detainment ranging from a few hours to over a week. "Threatening to tear off journalists' tongues in order to keep them from reporting specific themes is utterly wrong," RSF's Iran-Afghanistan bureau chief Reza Moini said.

"Journalists must be allowed to do their profession without fear of being arrested and tortured at any time." These heinous threats, which are in violation of Afghan media law, are all the more terrifying since they come at a time when the right to news and information is being more constrained." According to the RSF, in November of last year, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice published a decree setting specific standards for the media in Afghanistan.

On February 3, the International Federation of Journalists expressed alarm about the state of the media in Afghanistan, claiming that at least 318 media outlets had shuttered in 33 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces since the fall of the Western-backed government.

"The crisis has impacted newspapers the hardest," the survey stated, "with just 20 out of 114 continuing to publish." "According to the study created for the IFJ, 51 TV stations, 132 radio stations, and 49 online media outlets have discontinued operations."In response to these claims, the Taliban stated that it is devoted to press freedom.

"The Islamic Emirate is dedicated to journalistic freedom. On Saturday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid remarked on Twitter that the media has a duty to remain unbiased and loyal to religious and national values. According to him, the Taliban is attempting to remove barriers to the media.

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