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No free press in Taliban-controlled areas

AT News

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.

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