Taliban urged to uphold media freedom after journalist presser canceled

Kabul, Jan 27 (EFE).- The United Nations Thursday asked the de facto Taliban government not to muzzle media freedom and kill dissent in Afghanistan after the Islamist regime forced the cancellation of a press conference by journalists in Kabul.

“Blocking the media from holding a press conference is a disturbing restriction on free expression. The Taliban are urged to support dialog among Afghans and not to try and gag those they think may have different views,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) wrote on Twitter.

The Afghanistan Federation of Journalists and Media had scheduled a press conference to share their concerns about the status of the press.

The federation said 11 representatives from different media organizations were to address the conference on the media plight in the country.

But the news conference had to be called after orders by the Taliban.

The Taliban police claimed that the organizers should have shared the agenda before going ahead with the scheduled presser.

“When we arrived at the conference venue, the Taliban security forces were (already) there (…) The Islamic Emirate officials said the conference could not take place and that the organizers had to share the agenda of the conference,” Ali Akbar, one of the officials of the federation, told EFE.

Akbar said there was no precedent of sharing the agenda with the government in advance.

The media federation asked the Taliban government to clearly announce that they were banning the conference and provide the reason for blocking them.

“We told them to provide the reason or otherwise the information and culture ministry of the Taliban government has to announce clearly that the media and journalists do not have the right to conduct the conference in Afghanistan,” Akbar said. EFE


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