From Afghanistan: Taliban Outbreak & Future of Afghan Media

Fellow Afghan Journalist Identity Withhold for Safety

Taliban swept across Afghanistan and took control of the presidential palace in Kabul after Ashraf Ghani the president of Afghanistan fled the country and left everyone in shock, their outbreak was so quick they took control of cities and towns in just 10 days.

With the Taliban announcing a hardline regime in Afghanistan, journalists in the war-torn land have now opened up about being beaten up, detained, tortured, and even flogged by the militants. The Taliban has taken control of the Kabul government after 20 years of war and this could be a big sign of threat and panic for media workers and journalists who once were against the Taliban and their actions. Life is getting hard as everyone fears what will happen to them and the future seems dark for every media worker who once had visions in their life. Recently Ziar Khan Yaad from TOLOnews was attacked by Taliban fighters in Kabul, raising questions over promised media freedoms. Initially, it was reported that he was killed by Taliban fighters, he then tweeted

“I was beaten by the Taliban in Kabul’s New City while reporting. Cameras, technical equipment, and my personal mobile phone have also been hijacked. The Taliban got out of an armored Land Cruiser and hit me at gunpoint.”

Yaad’s case is one of the most high-profile cases of alleged Taliban intimidation and violence against journalists in Afghanistan. Media experts and journalists cannot practice their profession with confidence anymore, the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse day by day and Afghan Media workers are dealing with many ambiguities and uncertainties regarding their future in Afghanistan and their human rights. If journalists stay in the country, they may face persecution, including the possibility of death.

Since the Taliban takeover, 90% of Media workers are off duty and in search of a safe passage outside Afghanistan, because the free press has disappeared.

Threats from the Taliban don't just stop with journalists; they also extend to family members. According to the Associated Press, the Taliban targeted two family members of a reporter for German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle in Afghanistan, shooting and killing one family member and severely injuring another relative.

Media workers and journalists have no immunity inside Afghanistan anymore – a video that is circulating on social media shows a journalist of Afghanistan TV interviewing a Taliban member while 7 to 8 armed Taliban fighters standing behind the journalist, determining how sensitive the Taliban are towards Media and their workers.

“No one has freedom of speech, and no one has the right to criticize the Taliban for their actions."

If a journalist says anything not authorized by the Taliban, they will face horrific consequences, including death.

CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalist) has recently reported that Taliban militants have recently searched the homes of at least four members of the press and media. Journalists were covering a women's protest in Kabul on Wednesday, Afterwards, they were taken to a police station, where they say they were beaten with batons, electrical cables, and whips. A few hours later, they were released by the Taliban, without explanation.

One of those journalists told the BBC: "They took me to another room and handcuffed my hands behind me. I decided not to defend myself because I thought they would just beat me even worse, so I lay down on the floor in a position to protect the front of my body."

"The Taliban is quickly proving that earlier promises to allow Afghanistan's independent media to continue operating freely and safely are worthless," said Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator.

Media workers and journalists have no immunity inside Afghanistan anymore, The International community must urgently evacuate them and their family members out of Afghanistan.


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