Kabul, Mar 28 (EFE).- The Taliban government forced four local radio channels to shut down and arrested six of their workers in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, media watchdogs said on Monday.
Hujatullah Mujadidi, who heads the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), told EFE that the Islamist regime, with the closure of the radio stations and the arrest of journalists, had increased pressure on the media.
Mujadidi called on the Taliban to stop acting tough on the media.
“We request the government to stop such actions and negotiate the problems, if any, through the ministry of culture and information,” Mujadidi said.
The Afghan Journalists Center (AFJC) also condemned the “arbitrary and illegal” moves and called on the Taliban government to adhere to the media law approved by its government.
Growing Taliban media curbs have sparked concerns from human rights groups since the Islamists seized power in Kabul on Aug.15 last year.
The curbs have drastically limited critical reporting in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch last month said the de facto Islamist government had carried out far-reaching censorship and violence against Afghan media in the district and provincial centers.
“Taliban harassment and attacks on journalists outside major urban areas have largely gone unreported, causing media outlets in outlying provinces to self-censor or close altogether,” said Fereshta Abbasi, Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“In many provinces, the Taliban have virtually eliminated reporting on a wide range of issues and have driven women journalists out of the profession.”
The latest media curb comes after the Taliban recently barred BBC from broadcasting in Afghanistan.
Mujadidi condemned the BBC ban and called on the Taliban government to revoke it.
He said the media is a link between Afghanistan and the world.
“Banning the international media is not good for the people of Afghanistan and nor for the government. We call on the Taliban government to end this issue and allow the international media to broadcast in Afghanistan.”
The Taliban have not commented on the latest media curbs. EFE