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‘One-sided’ broadcasts by Voice of America and RFE/RL ‘banned by Taliban’!

The FM radio broadcasts coming from Afghanistan’s Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) stations have been outlawed by the Taliban. They claim that they were stopped as a result of their failure to follow journalistic ethics and their biassed broadcasts. The ban was announced on Twitter by Abdul Haq Hammad, the minister of information and culture of the current Afghan government and the person in charge of broadcasting. According to a tweet from Hammad, the Radio Azadi broadcasts have been banned in 13 Afghan provinces.

The Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture recently issued a new directive that, beginning on December 1st, prohibits VOA broadcasts. The Afghan government suspended Ashna TV, a Voice of America television program, on March 27 of this year. It had previously been broadcast on the Tolo TV, TOLONews, and Lamar TV channels.

Voice of America reported that Azadi Radio and Voice of America have been shut off by Afghanistan due to concerns about the programming. It’s unclear if the prohibition will extend to other overseas broadcasters that have utilised the same FM broadcasting technology in Afghanistan. Foreign journalist for VOA Abdul Qahar Balkhi: VOA was deemed to be serial offenders who lacked professionalism and were shut down.

The Voice of America began broadcasting in Afghanistan in 1980, and Radio Azadi started broadcasting in 2002. There were 547 media outlets in Afghanistan during the previous administration, but 219 print, aural, and visual media were shut down after the current administration assumed power. Since taking over last year, the government has placed a number of limitations on the media and journalists. Free press organizations have slammed them with pervasive media censorship and muzzling.


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