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Taliban warn media outlets to stop anti-militant propagandas

AT News Report

KABUL: The Taliban—a terrorist group that scrambling for legitimacy and making efforts to inject their soft corner in Afghan society through negotiation with US administration, has once again revealed their nefarious design toward nascent media outlets in Afghanistan. All media staffers in Kabul, the capital city, and elsewhere across the country will be targeted if all the advertisement against the group does not end within a week,” the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Monday. Some media outlets in Kabul and some provinces publish content, where according to Taliban, is meant to defame them.

The extremist group has given Afghan TV channels, radio stations, print media, and other a week to cease airing anti-Taliban announcement. “A number of media outlets are broadcasting and launching some commercial advertisements which is against Taliban,” the statement added, putting it as an insult to the group andtheir so-called Jihad that ordained to provoke people’s sentiment against them.

Anti-Taliban propaganda if still went on air, the Taliban will consider those outlets as espionage dens of the enemies and no one working in these media outlets will have security anymore, the statement added.

NAI—an Afghan media advocacy organization has strongly slammed Taliban group for its warning against the Afghan media outlets, calling on Afghan government to adopt comprehensive measure to ensure safety of Afghan media.

According to agency, so far Taliban group is behind nine media-related incidents that taken place since the start of the current year, during which one journalists was killed, and one other received injuries.

In the past, the Taliban have targeted a number of media outlets and it staffers, but this time it the insurgent’s first threat over a specific issue such as the government-paid announcements.

According to media freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, Afghanistan is the deadliest country in the world for journalists with 15 journalists were killed in 2018. A total of 53 journalists were killed around the world in 2018.  

The Taliban have long been known to be especially brutal to journalists and other media workers who are protected persons under the Geneva Convention.

The Reporters Without Borders has reiteratedtheir appeal to the international community to condition the start of any talks with the Taliban on their giving an explicit undertaking to respect international humanitarian law’s basic treaties, starting with the Geneva Conventions. However, fresh threat, has further complicated the safety landscape of media workers. When Taliban have given open challenge against media workers, security organizations need to identity meaningful ways to ensure security of journalists. They should expand cooperation and communication with the media and journalist advocacy originations so that effective and practical procedures can be identified to prevent such lethal attacks on the media in the future. Any negligence in this area can have tragic consequences.

Why the Taliban have showed their hostility against Afghan media outlets at a time when US Special Envoy ZalamyKhalilzad and Taliban negotiation members are going for their seventh round of talks on 29 June again in Doha of Qatar. Some progress already made on several issues during sixth round of talks and the next one is expected to discuss a draft agreement for when foreign troops might withdraw from Afghanistan.    

If the Taliban put on practice the contains of the statement and to target the media outlets, then it is a clear sign that still the extremist group has not changed logically and if they become on power will suffocate people’s vices as well create barriers ahead of freedom of speech.  

When Taliban extremist group directly targeted Afghan media, the outlets expectation from Khalilzad is to take the issue with the Taliban, and advocate on behalf of Afghan medias since the US is strongly believe in freedom of expressions.

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