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Taliban should allow women journalists to broadcast news: CPJ

International desk, Rtv
|  21 Aug 2021, 15:17
Taliban should allow women journalists to broadcast news: CPJ
Photo: Collected
The body asked the Taliban to allow the media to operate freely and independently in the country. Members of the Taliban have barred at least two female journalists from their jobs at the public broadcaster Radio Television Afghanistan, and have attacked at least two members of the press while they covered a protest in the eastern Nangarhar province, according to news reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ.

“Stripping public media of prominent women news presenters is an ominous sign that Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have no intention of living up their promise of respecting women’s rights, in the media or elsewhere,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “The Taliban should let women news anchors return to work, and allow all journalists to work safely and without interference.”

On August 15, the day the Taliban entered Kabul, members of the group arrived at Radio Television Afghanistan’s station and a male Taliban official took the place of Khadija Amin, an anchor with the network, according to news reports and Amin, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app. Taliban members also denied Shabnam Dawran, a news presenter with Radio Television Afghanistan, entry to the outlet, saying that “the regime has changed” and she should “go home,” according to news reports and Dawran, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

Male employees were permitted entry into the station, but she was denied, according to those sources. On August 17, a Taliban-appointed newscaster took her place and relayed statements from the group’s leadership, according to those reports.  At about 10 a.m., a group of Taliban militants arrived at a demonstration of people gathering in support of the Afghan national flag, which Amirzada and Naeemi were covering, and beat up protesters and fired gunshots into the air to disperse the crowd, the journalists told CPJ.

Amirzada and Naeemi said that Taliban fighters shoved them both to the ground, beat Amirzada on his head, hands, chest, feet, and legs, and hit Naeemi on his legs and feet with the bottoms of their rifles. CPJ could not immediately determine the extent of the journalists’ injuries.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid did not respond to CPJ’s request for comment via messaging app. Taliban militants have also raided the homes of at least four media workers since taking power in the country earlier this week, according to CPJ reporting.

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