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Taliban bans BBC news broadcasts in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Taliban government has ordered BBC news bulletins to be taken off air, according to the UK’s national broadcaster.

The BBC made the announcement on Sunday and said: “This is a worrying development at a time of uncertainty and turbulence for the people of Afghanistan.”

Afghans must not be denied ‘independent’ journalism — BBC

Tarik Kafala, who is head of languages at the BBC World Service, said that more than 6 million Afghans consumed BBC’s “independent and impartial journalism” and said that it was crucial that they not be denied access.

“We call on the Taliban to reverse their decision and allow our TV partners to return the BBC’s news bulletins to their airwaves immediately,” Kafala said in a statement tweeted by BBC anchor and correspondent Yalda Hakim.

Voice of America also halted
Germany’s dpa news agency citedAfghan media company MOBY Group as saying that the militant movement had also stopped broadcasting Voice of America after orders from the Taliban’s intelligence agency.

DPA said that this was confirmed by Information and Culture Ministry spokesman Abdul Haq Hammad.

DW partners affected
Under the Taliban broadcasting crackdown, DW’s programming can no longer be rebroadcast by Afghan partners.

“The increasing restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Afghanistan are very worrying,” said DW Director-General Peter Limbourg.

“The fact that the Taliban are now criminalizing the distribution of DW programs by our media partners is hindering positive developments in Afghanistan. Free media is essential for this and we will do everything we can to continue to provide the people of Afghanistan with independent information via the internet and social media,” he added.

“Since the Taliban took power, the people of Afghanistan have been waiting in vain for their living conditions to improve, or at least for some degree of normality,” Limbourg said.

Many journalists fled Afghanistan when the Taliban seized control in August 2021. The Taliban’s move to halt international broadcasters from operating comes days after the group backtracked on a decision to reopen girls’ secondary schools. DW

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