Even as the Taliban claim that they will allow the media free reign in Afghanistan, their actions in over the last few days bely the promise. Multiple reports suggest that journalists from various publications have been beaten and had their equipment taken away. Others have been turned away from their workplace for being a woman (despite their promise of jobs for women).
Unverified reports on social media suggest that journalists including those from local platforms such as Shamshad News have been beaten. Amid protests in Jalalabad city, there had also been reports and videos that showed several individuals crying. Purportedly, they had been journalists who were beaten by the militants while trying to cover the agitation.
Sahar Nasari, a presenter on state-owned Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), took to Facebook on Thursday, contending in his native Pashto that Taliban members had taken his camera and thrashed his colleagues while he was trying to film a story in Kabul.
As per an AFP report, the Taliban fighters shot and killed the relative of a Deutsche Welle (DW) journalist while hunting for him earlier today. According to the German public broadcaster, another member of the journalist's family has been seriously injured. "The militants were conducting a house-to-house search to try and find him, but he is now safe in Germany," an update from the publication added.
Women journalists in Afghanistan have said that they are being barred from working by the Taliban who have overtaken control of the country and who had assured that women would be allowed to work corresponding with Sharia law.
"I wanted to return to work, but unfortunately they did not allow me to work. They told me that the regime has changed and you cannot work," Shabnam Khan Dawran, an anchor at RTA (Radio Television Afghanistan) told TOLO News.
Another journalist Khadija said that she was also banned by the Taliban from working. According to her, the Taliban told them that a decision will be made soon about their work. "I went to the office but I was not allowed in. Later other colleagues were banned, too. We talked with our new director who has been appointed by the Taliban," she said.
(With inputs from agencies)
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)