Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 29 (ANI): Taliban has forcefully shut down a local radio station named 'Nasim Radio' in the central province of Dykundi. They have also arrested the station's director and two reporters, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported. The Taliban forces on Wednesday confiscated the equipment and personal gadgets of employees, including mobile phones and voice recorders, before sealing the gate of the media outlet's premises, according to the report.

On the occasion of Universal Access to Information Day on Thursday, Afghanistan's Journalists Centre condemned the closure of Radio Nasim. It termed the Taliban's action an "increased pressure and further restrictions on independent media" in Afghanistan. In a press release, Afghanistan's Journalists Center said that three employees who were detained by Taliban's intelligence forces from the media outlet, Radio Nasim, were released after five hours, Khaama Press reported. The Afghan Journalists Center has urged the Taliban to allow the reopening of the radio station at the earliest and to refrain from hindering the free operation of the media outlet and its staff, according to Khaama Press.

According to local sources in Dykundi province, the intelligence forces of the Taliban carried out raids at Radio Nasim's office and detained Sultan Ali Javadi, the chief editor, along with two reporters. Taliban also sealed the gate of the media outlet.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Supporting Independent Media (NAI) organisation also released a statement, stating that the systematic restrictions on access to information have made the future of journalism in Afghanistan uncertain.

It raised concerns regarding challenges like limited access to information, lack of job security, and physical violence against journalists and media personnel, the Khaama Press said. Reports have indicated that some journalists continue to remain imprisoned under the rule of the Taliban.

Earlier in April, a women-run radio station in northeast Afghanistan was shut down for playing music during the fasting month of Ramzan, Al Jazeera reported.

The radio station, 'Sadai Banowan' was Afghanistan's sole women-run station, broadcasting for 10 years. 'Sadai Banowan' translates to "women's voice" in Dari. Six of the eight employees in the radio station were females.

Moezuddin Ahmadi, the provincial director for information and culture, said, "If this radio station accepts the policy of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and guarantees that it will not repeat such a thing again, we will allow it to operate again," reported Al Jazeera.

Najia Sorosh, the station's manager, refuted the Taliban's allegations that the radio station had violated laws and regulations and said that the closure was an elaborate plot. According to Al Jazeera report, she said the Taliban "told us that you have broadcast music. We have not broadcast any kind of music." (ANI)

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