Journalists’ union reacts to Taliban’s threat

KABUL: The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center (AFJC) termed the recent statement by Taliban as ambiguous regarding the security of journalists.

The AFJC called on Taliban to clearly announce their position about journalists and open media.

A Taliban official, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai discussed the insurgents’ policy, peaceful settlement of the Afghan conflict and other issues with representatives of the United States, the European Union, Germany, Britain, Norway, France, Italy and the United Nations.

Stanakzai assured foreign diplomats that their fighters would not target journalists and humanitarian workers, according to the group’s political spokesman Mohmmad Naeem.

But the Taliban’s stance regarding the security of journalists, remains as vague as they did not clearly explain it, said the AFJC.

Earlier, Taliban warned media workers to stay neutral or they will face consequences.

Meanwhile, Director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Ahmad Zia Seraj said that some media outlets work for the benefits of Taliban and the continuation of this situation is unacceptable.

The NDS chief recent remarks are in contrast with the law of the land which recognizes journalists’ rights.

The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center believes that the media and journalists, under very difficult circumstances, are working to inform people about the ongoing war, corruption and insecurity, their security and safety must be ensured and the Taliban should prove that they are honest in their commitments.

According AACJ, at least 11 media workers were killed in targeted attacks since the US and Taliban inked peace agreement.

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No free press in Taliban-controlled areas
May 8, 2021  

KABUL: Taliban take hostage a civil and cultural activist two years ago in Ghazni province, blaming him guilty for his post that showed the death of innocent people in the Taliban’s attacks.

A man, living in the area under the Taliban control and who wanted to speak on condition of anonymity because of threats of the Taliban, said that group’s fighters kept him in custody for several days. He has gone through a lot of torturing.

Another civil activist in Shahid Hasas district of southern Uruzagan province says of a similar story, adding that the Taliban had a very aggressive and cruelty behavior against towards the journalists and civil rights activists.

“Taliban warned me not to write about them, I neglected the warning and they beat me, asking me why did you write it again, I told them that I raised people voices,” he said of his story with the militants.

The Taliban banned all of their fighters from using Smart Phones in 2016. The group termed religious and security reasons as the reason for it.

Some Social Activists vows that the Taliban are trying to ban Smart Phones in the areas under their control to prevent people from picturing their cruel behaviors and gatherings. The group doesn’t allow any private radio station in its areas. The militants spread their own version of publisment among the residents.

The groups’ spokesmen are strongly active in social media and publishing information in Dari, Pashto, English and Arabic. In some areas, the insurgents did not banned the usage of social media in their areas enforced some restriction on the social media users that disallow people to express criticism on the group. Taliban also do not allow people to watch televisions in some areas.

The human rights commission blamed Taliban for restricting media freedom and threatened journalists and civil activists in the area under their control.

The Afghan government officials accused Taliban for having hand in the killing of media workers but the Taliban have repeatedly denied these allegations.

People in the Taliban controlled areas said that local commanders of the group have not changed regarding press freedom.

Mohammd Nasim, another social activist from Imam Sahib district of northern Kunduz province said that they could not download songs and poems in their phones due to fear from Taliban.

As the peace talks going on between the Afghan government and the Taliban, large number of Afghans fear losing their access to information and social media if a possible agreement reached between the two sides.

Journalists’ union reacts to Taliban’s threat