ISLAMABAD: The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) says in an annual report for the year 2023, that during the outgoing year, about 168 incidents of violation against the rights of journalist reported in Afghanistan, including the arrest of 61 journalists by the Taliban regime, according to a report published by a US based private multimedia channel on Friday quoting the AFJC report.
The report further maintained that most of the incidents predominantly mentioned about the killings, injuries, and threats against journalists of the war-torn country by the Taliban.
The report outlined severe restrictions and limitations imposed on the journalists and media outlets journalists by the Taliban, including blatant violations of human rights in account of mere media restriction and directives.
According to the report, these directives and guidelines covered different aspects, comprising barring women from working in national radio and television, restricting news coverage of demonstrations and civil protests, and imposing restrictions on news preparation and content.
Report Cover Ban, Restriction on Female Journalists
Other directives included the requirement to refer to the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, ban on music publications, directing female journalists to cover their faces, prohibiting women from appearing in media entertainment programs and dramas, separating women from men in the media, and banning interviews between men and women journalists.
The report further maintained that some directives included bans on media interviewing Taliban critics, broadcasting international programs, publishing politically sensitive commercials without authority approval, criticizing Taliban officials etc.
The report explained about the concerns over the impact of these restrictions and directives on media programs, production and content.
The report mentioned about details of 168 incidents in 2023, including the killing of a journalist. It also included details of 19 injured journalists, 87 threats, and 61 arrests. However, it also mentioned about the comparison of the decreasing of incidents from the year 2022, from 260 incidents, however no other qualitative or structural changes were noted, in 2023, the report said.
The continued pressures over media in the country has led to reduced media freedom, increased self-censorship, and switched over focus to humanitarian and educational events from other political and security related issues.