Afghanistan: Taliban prohibit journalists from collaborating with Afghanistan International news channel – Reporters sans frontières

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Announcing the ban on collaborating with Afghanistan International, Taliban information and culture ministry spokesman Khubaib Ghufran said it had “violated professional standards and crossed moral and legal boundaries” and cited 10 reasons, including its alleged campaigning against the Taliban government. 

“Among other things, we are accused of falsifying facts and spreading disinformation and yet we base our work on fact-based journalism, which relies on a robust verification process,” Afghanistan International director Harun Najafizada told RSF.

The ban may have been prompted by recent Afghan International reporting thought to have annoyed the Taliban government, including its coverage of anti-Taliban protests in the northeastern province of Badakhshan that were dispersed bloodily, and its revelations about the use of torture against political prisoners in Kabul’s Pul-e-Charkhi prison. 

Noting that Ghufran, the ministry spokesman, said that any form of collaboration with Afghanistan International would be regarded as a criminal act, Najafizada added: “The Taliban did not specify what the sanctions would be. We remain concerned. This is a decision that goes against press freedom and the country’s media laws.”

The grounds given for closing Noor TV and Barya TV on 16 April was their alleged violation of “national and Islamic values.” 

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