The latest: Local sources in Badakhshan said that officials of the department of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice of the Taliban in this province have closed the Sada-e Banowan Radio Station on Thursday in Faizabad city, the capital of the province.
- The Taliban while sealing the offices of the radio station stated that the broadcasts of this media outlet were not compliant with their policies.
- Officials at Women’s Radio in Badakhshan confirmed that the Taliban stopped broadcasting the radio because of broadcasting religious music during the holy month of Ramadan.
- Najla Shirzad, director of the radio station, however, denied broadcasting music and violating the Taliban’s policy.
- Shirzad relates the group’s decision of shutting down the radio in response to the programs about girls’ education that her radio had aired recently.
- The policies set by the Taliban for radio Sada-e Banowan in Badakhshan have been to not play music; to not host live programs by women, and to not have female presenters speak in a soft voice.
- The officials of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice Taliban in Badakhshan have warned the officials of this radio station that they have no right to operate after this sealing.
- Radio Sada-e Banowan was the only radio station related to women’s issues in Badakhshan, which started operating about five years ago and continued to operate after the Taliban came to power.
- Despite many challenges, the women-run radio station continued its operations with female employees at their homes over the past year.
- Taliban officials have not yet commented on the incident.
Zoom out: After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, dozens of audio and video media outlets have stopped working due to restrictions imposed by this group.
- As per the Taliban announcement, journalists and media outlets are not allowed to speak against the ruling regime or criticize the Taliban members.
- Economic hardship and media restrictions stemming from the 2021 return to power of Afghanistan’s Taliban have reportedly forced approximately 34% of radio stations to shutter operations in the country, rendering hundreds of men and women jobless.
- The Afghan Independent Journalists Union (AIJU) President Hujatullah Mujadidi had last month stated that 345 radio channels were operating in the country before the Taliban takeover in August 2021, employing nearly 5,000 people, 25% of them women.
- However, 117 stations have since ceased broadcasting due to economic problems, Mujadidi said, adding that 1,900 people, more than half of them women, subsequently lost their jobs. The remaining 228 stations employ more than 1,800 workers, including a few dozen women.
- The United Nations and the International community have repeatedly called on Afghanistan’s de facto authorities to respect the freedom of speech, media freedom, as well rights of all the people of Afghanistan.