Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 17 (ANI): The South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) in its report has raised concerns over the deteriorating situation of media organizations in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control and criticised attacks and harsh restrictions imposed on them.

The media body has called out the international community to support Afghanistan's media and has urged the world to stand in support of journalists of the country, Tolo News reported.

Reiterating its solidarity with all Afghan journalists and media workers, SAMSN stated that it is high time for the international community to take immediate action to address the deteriorating state of freedom of expression and press freedom in Afghanistan."Underlining the atrocities against media in Afghanistan, Abdul Raoofi, an Ariana reporter said he has been beaten by Islamic Emirate forces while covering a blast in Kabul.

"They didn't even let me speak, they attacked me first, they slapped me and then hit my head with a stick and made me bleed," said Raoofi.

Meanwhile, according to Tolo News, some journalists in the capital said that they were faced with restrictions while covering security events and access to information.

"Security forces don't allow us to cover events and that is a serious problem because media and people who watch the media want to be aware of events," said another reporter, Abid Momand.

According to reports of media support organizations, more than 200 print and visual media outlets have come to halt due to economic challenges and 7,000 media workers lost work during the last year.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in mid-August last year, it rolled back women's rights advances and media freedom revoking the efforts on gender equality and freedom of speech in the country.

Over 45 per cent of journalists have quit since the terrorist outfit assumed power. The ever-increasing restrictions against media in Afghanistan have also drawn widespread criticism globally with the United Nations (UN) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decrying the arrests, demanding the Taliban stop harassing local journalists and stifling freedom of speech through continued detentions and threats.

The Taliban had promised women's rights, media freedom, and amnesty for government officials in the group's first news conference after the takeover in August. However, activists, former government employees, and journalists among others continue to face retribution. (ANI)

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