Taliban bans Voice of America, Radio Free Europe in Afghanistan for ‘one-sided broadcasts’

Taliban forces in Presidential palace. [File Photo]

Taliban have banned radio broadcasting from the US government-funded Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) in Afghanistan for “one-sided broadcasts”.

The ban, as per the Taliban, was imposed due to non-compliance with journalistic principles and one-sided broadcasts.

Taking to Twitter, Abdul Haq Hammad, who oversees broadcasting for the Ministry of Information and Culture of the incumbent Afghan administration, said, “Radio Azadi (RL), which started broadcasting after the American occupation, was stopped due to non-compliance with journalistic principles and one-sided broadcasts,” Khaama Press reported.

According to a tweet from Hammad, the Radio Azadi broadcasts have been banned in 13 Afghan provinces.

“Afghanistan has press laws and any network found repeatedly contravening these laws will have their privilege of reporting from and broadcasting within Afghanistan taken away,” Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the Taliban foreign ministry spokesman, told VOA in a written statement.

According to the spokesman, both VOA and Azadi Radio – the local Afghan incarnation of RFE/RL – failed to adhere to these laws. Both were branded “repeat offenders” that “failed to show professionalism and were therefore shut down,” he said. The ban took effect on Thursday.

However, the Taliban government did not provide further detail on the specific complaints it received, VOA said.


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