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UNAMA expresses concern over restrictions on media in Afghanistan

ANI | Updated: Apr 09, 2022 20:31 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], April 9 (ANI): Noting the consistent arbitrary arrests of Afghan journalists by the Taliban, the United Nations Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed concern over the situation of media in Afghanistan, reported local media.
The Taliban do not allow the detained journalists and media workers to contact anybody outside during their time in the Tablian custody, Khaama Press quoted UNAMA as saying.
Citing the detention of Bismillah Watandost, a local journalist in Kandahar, who was in Taliban custody for 10 days and not allowed to make contact with anyone outside, UNAMA said that Watandost has been freed but other journalists have been taken to the Taliban's jails now.
Notably, the reason behind the imprisonment of Watandost is yet not clear, according to the media outlet.
The Taliban had earlier arrested three journalists and media workers in Kandahar who were released later.

Further, as many as 114 cases of violations against the journalists have been recorded in Afghanistan in the past seven months, the media outlet reported citing Afghanistan's Independent Journalists Association, which has also expressed concern over the spike in the violations.
Under the current Taliban regime, Afghan journalists suffer from various problems including censorship, restrictions, and access to information.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Taliban have intensified attacks on media as the journalist in the country said that it's hard to report from Afghanistan anymore.
According to the journalists, Taliban intelligence officials hold regular meetings with the media to inform them of any new rules. In some cases, journalists have reported that they have been harassed, beaten, and arbitrarily detained without explanation.
Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, restrictions on media have escalated, and hundreds of media outlets have closed.
"The Taliban should end restrictions on music and other content and cease the arbitrary detention of media workers and journalists. They should ensure that journalists can report freely without fear of abuse, and hold Taliban security forces accountable for the arbitrary arrest and mistreatment of media workers," HRW said. (ANI)