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Watchdog reports Taliban ban on female media involvement in Khost.


Kabul: According to a media watchdog group, the Taliban has enforced a prohibition on females communicating with radio stations or television channels in Khost province, southeastern Afghanistan. Media heads have reportedly been cautioned against broadcasting female voices in their programs.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) has obtained a statement from Abdul Rashid Omari, the Taliban commander of the security department in Khost, criticizing the media for airing educational and social programs involving girls.

Expressing concern, the AFJC has urged the Taliban to reverse its decision. Omari’s statement highlighted concerns about private radio stations in Khost broadcasting what he deemed as inappropriate content, citing the airing of school lessons and social programs with significant female participation as problematic. The statement accused girls of engaging in “illegitimate contacts” with presenters during these programs, which purportedly led to “inappropriate behavior” conflicting with “Islamic manners.”

Additionally, the statement instructed the provincial department of information and culture to address this issue with media organizations, noting the lack of required permits from the educational department for broadcasting educational content.

The AFJC labeled the security department’s decision as “unprecedented,” raising concerns among journalists about the activities of the information and culture department. There is growing suspicion that the department may be facilitating the issuance of such restrictive statements.

Currently, 15 private radio stations and 3 TV channels operate in Khost, in addition to the state-run TV and radio station of RTA, controlled by the Taliban.

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