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The AFJC condemns the suspension of Noor and Barya TV stations

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Kabul: The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center (AFJC) has criticized the Taliban’s decision to suspend the private television stations Noor and Barya, condemning it as a violation of Afghanistan’s mass media law. In a statement, the center denounced the move as an effort to stifle free media activities and asserted that such suspensions are unacceptable. AFJC emphasized that media outlets have the right to operate without interference and called on Afghan officials to refrain from imposing restrictions or threatening media activities.

The Afghanistan media violations commission announced on Tuesday, April 16, that broadcasts from Noor and Barya TV would be halted pending a court decision. The commission cited the networks’ alleged failure to comply with journalistic standards, disregard for national and Islamic values, and promotion of ethnic, linguistic, and regional biases as reasons for the suspension. However, AFJC countered that the commission’s characterization of these actions as violations are actually within the legal rights of the media.

The Media Violations Commission, which ceased operations in August 2021 after the previous government’s fall, was reinstated with new members. Currently, operations of the private television stations Noor and Barya in Kabul are suspended as per the directive. Noor TV is owned by Salahuddin Rabbani, leader of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan, while Barya TV is owned by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan. This move follows the ban on political party activities in Afghanistan.

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