Taliban Bans BBC News Programs, Voice of America in Afghanistan

The Taliban on March 27 has ordered private television stations in Afghanistan to stop broadcasting BBC news programs and Voice of America (VOA).

The ban by the Taliban’s intelligence agency comes as the latest in a series of restrictions imposed on Afghan media since the Islamist group seized power last August.

Tarik Kafala, the head of languages at BBC World Service, called on the Taliban “to reverse their decision and allow our partners to return the BBC’s news bulletins to their airwaves immediately.”

“This is a worrying development at a time of uncertainty and turbulence for the people of Afghanistan. More than six million Afghans consume the BBC’s independent and impartial journalism on TV every week and it is crucial they are not denied access to it in the future,” Kafala said in a statement.

VOA Director Yolanda Lopez also denounced the Taliban for the ruling.

“We ask the Taliban to reconsider this troubling and unfortunate decision. The content restrictions that the Taliban are attempting to impose are antithetical to freedom of expression that the people of Afghanistan deserve,” Lopez said in a statement.

Other international broadcasters taken off the air by the ruling include German state-owned media company Deutsche Welle and Chinese state-run cable TV news service CGTN.

Before the ruling, BBC had broadcast for half an hour in Pashto every day through Afghan partner stations.

Meanwhile, VOA had broadcast half-hour news bulletins in Pashto and Dari for five days a way though TOLO news and Shamshad TV.

© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.