Taliban in a released statement on Wednesday warned Afghan media outlets to put a halt on on-sided publications and broadcastings.
Zabullah Mujahid in a series of tweets said, that for several days, the Taliban have been witnessing one sided-propaganda and publications in some media outlets.According to Mujahid, the Kabul administration’s National Directorate of Security is directly involved in such activities to distort public views.
He said that “media must be aware” to maintain their neutrality, and that in such a sensitive situation media should avoid becoming the Kabul administration’s propaganda tool.
In the case of ensuing publishment and broadcasting of fallacious news and incorrect information by the journalists and media, he added, “such acts could bring their neutrality under serious questions”.
Mujahid warned that if such actions continue, he added, the media officials and its workers will be responsible for the consequences.
This comes in response to a member of parliament Aref Rahmani’s tweet, in which he said during a secrete session of the Afghan parliament, National Directorate of Security Zia Saraj signaled that Afghan media, politicians, and experts should be aware of the enemy’s psychological warfare.
Media outlets are left in the confusion of what type of news they should publish and broadcast to the Afghan public.Rahmani restated Saraj’s remarks that the government will treat those who collaborate, communicate and propagandize in favor of “terrorists” as terrorists.
Earlier in June of 2019, the Taliban had issued a threat to the Afghan media outlets saying journalists will be targeted unless news outlets stop publishing and broadcasting what they call government propaganda against the insurgents.
Since then, journalists, media professionals and staffers came under attacks and fell victims to targeted killings.
According to reports at least 20 Journalists and media workers have been the victims of Targeted attacks in the past six months including eight including four women were killed and dozens have received death threats for their work.
United Mission in a report on February 2021 said at least 11 human rights defenders and media workers were killed in targeted attacks between September 2020 to January 2021.
The report further elaborated that a total of 65 human rights defenders and media professionals were killed between January 2018 to January 2021, out of which 32 targeted individuals were from human rights sectors and 33 were reportedly media employees.
At an event on World Press Freedom Day, Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish announced 575 cases of killing and violence against journalists which are currently under government assessment.
Analysis of media in the country indicated at least 300 female media workers have left their jobs due to “terrorist” threats.
This comes as previously European Union, UNAMA, and International Community condemned attacks on media workers, saying that human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and media space contracted with many professionals exercising self-censorship, quitting jobs, leaving the country and their homes for the sake of safety.