HAMİDULLAH SADIK / Journalist Afghanistan
Journalists are experiencing the greatest concern in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Many of them leave the country, while those who are left behind either quit journalism or struggle to survive under difficult conditions. And those who have to continue their profession cannot find an official to talk and report
Chaos prevails in Afghanistan, which came under Taliban rule with the withdrawal of the United States. While the fear of the Taliban has caused tens of thousands of people to leave the country, the media is also experiencing its most troubled days. Some journalists have left the country for fear of being killed, while others complain about being unable to find an answerer and report on behalf of the Taliban.
In recent months, Deutsche Welle’s Afghan correspondent has been targeted by the Taliban. Taliban raided the journalist’s house, killed one person, and injured another.
30 MEDIA EMPLOYEES WERE KILLED
At the first press conference after the Taliban took over, they announced that the media would be able to continue their work if they adhere to Islamic
values, maintain neutrality and national interests. Time will show whether more than 170 radio stations, more than 100 newspapers and dozens of television channels will resume broadcasting in the country. However, it is necessary to record the fact that at least 50 media outlets have closed in the last 4 months, and at least 30 media employees have also been killed since the beginning of the year.
Currently, many Afghan journalists are hiding, leaving the profession, deleting their social media profiles, or trying to flee the country. The United Nations
(UN) report confirms that threats to journalists are increasing. According to Human Rights Watch, Taliban are tracking journalists, alerting them by text
messages via Facebook, or detaining them. It is also now commonplace that journalists who have been tortured or exposed to violence in detention.
“AFGHANISTAN IS LOSING ITS ACCUMULATION”
For journalists who have left the country are ‘a great loss,’ said journalist T. O., (Due to the safety of journalists, we had to encode the names that were reserved for us.) “Afghanistan is losing its huge accumulation. these people have been invested the country for 20 years, but they are forced to leave the country and take refuge in other countries due to the lack of security. Unfortunately, those who cannot leave the country are hiding.” expressed he. Journalist T.O. explains that the frame is also dangerous for him, that there is no life safety left and that he wants to leave his country due to economic difficulties.
“IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO MAKE NEWS NOW”
“According to the past, it is very difficult to perform journalism in the country.” said the young journalist S.K. he expresses that he has never had such a
hard time making news. S. K., who started journalism 13 years ago, “Although there were similar bans in the past, we were not having diffi culties with access to news sources and information.” However, we are currently tied up. Sometimes it’s not even possible to take an image from the street. Because we are threatened, even subjected to violence.” said he.
“WE CAN’T FIND AN ANSWERER TO ASK QUESTIONS”
The Taliban’s view of journalists is clear. A Taliban spokesman warned in May that journalists would “face consequences” as a result of unilaterally reporting or meeting with intelligence agencies.
Journalist A.K., stating that it is diffi cult to get to the news and write it by confi rming the source of the news fi rsthand, “Diffi cult days of journalism await us. In addition to freedom of expression, freedom of thought was also taken hostage. You want to get an opinion from the Taliban authorities on something, but no one is answering you. You can’t fi nd anyone to answer your questions either. Finally, you have to give up the news.” he says.
“DON’T TALK! YOU’RE TEMPTING ME!”
Despite statements by the Taliban that women can continue their duties, female journalists are threatened. Some female journalists say they have received death threats and are hiding because the Taliban are looking for them. Female journalists are seriously concerned following the assassinations of
female journalists last year.
Journalist and women activist K. A, comparing the situations of female journalists before and after the Taliban, said, “Journalism was diffi cult in previous periods, but it is even more diffi cult now. As women, we have no right to be in any environment. We have entered a period when the woman’s face should not be visible, they should be trained behind the scenes.’ she says. Journalist K.A., “I began to make an interview a Taliban member. He said “Don’t talk looking my face. You’re tempting me.” How do you think a woman can be a journalist in a regime with this logic?” asks she.
This is how the situation is summarized in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which has closed most of its media outlets. more than 1200 journalists have lost their jobs due to closures or the displacement of Taliban supporters. The reopened media outlets are spreading Taliban propaganda.