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Self-censorship of journalists highest under Taliban: Former Afghan official

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New Delhi | November 28, 2021 11:17:22 AM IST
Under the Taliban's oppressive regime self-censorship of the journalists has gone to the highest, said a former Afghan government official, adding that no government or institution is any longer promoting or supporting free media in the country.

Speaking a webinar, Abdullah Khenjani, former Deputy Minister of Coordination, Strategy and Policy in Afghanistan's State Ministry for Peace, pointed out that nearly 7,000 journalists and media workers including the most prominent and leading journalist have left the country and has taken asylum in some other country which resulted in an evident brain drain in the country.

The webinar was organised by Red Lantern Analytica, a New Delhi-based think tank on Saturday.

The webinar was opened by Somya, Research Scholar at Red Lantern Analytica who welcomed the speakers and introduced the moderator. The webinar was moderated by Sania Jamal, Research Scholar, Jamia Millia Islamia.

The sudden and brutal takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban terrorists on August 15 has forced Afghanistan to be one of the terror hubs and victims of the most severe violations of human rights in the world, a press statement read following the webinar.

But in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, this identity has been left in a chaotic order, the statement read.

The Taliban are steadily dismantling the human rights gains of the last twenty years. And amongst others, the most affected community has been the ones who are actually upholding the freedom of speech and expression.

Khenjani pointed out that the takeover of the Taliban has made various changes and shifts and most of the supportive mechanisms including the unions, the journalist federation have disappeared.

He further opined that Afghanistan is a traditional country where there are no strong political institutions such as political parties, therefore, media had been playing a critical role in order to criticize the government.

Since the takeover by the Taliban, constructive criticism has gone from the traditional media in Afghanistan. He further said that the Taliban are not ready to hear any criticism from the media or even independent commentators.

No media could report on corruption, mismanagement, lack of capacity of government or Taliban's behaviour towards people.

Speaking at the webinar, journalist Roya Musawi said that the takeover by the Taliban, the media in Kabul has stopped broadcasting and publishing.

The Taliban ordered them to get work permission from them and then only the media could restart working and under the new working permission if a journalist in a particular province wants to broadcast or publish a report they should send it to the Directorate of Taliban thus there is visible censorship of media and journalists by the Taliban, she said. (ANI)

 
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