Photo Source: ANI
51 media outlets in Afghanistan closed amid ongoing violence
Kabul [Afghanistan], August 4, 2021 (ANI): A total of 51 media outlets have been closed in the country due to surge in violence in Afghanistan over the last three months, TOLO News has reported.
The Afghan information ministry on Tuesday said 16 of the media outlets, including four TV networks, are in Helmand and stopped operating in recent weeks.
"So far, 35 media outlets have stopped their operations, over 6 media outlets have fallen to the Taliban and are being used as a voice for their activities," Aghainstan's acting Minister of Information and Culture Qasim Wafaeezada said.
The news outlet which halted operations since April include five TV networks and 44 radio stations, one media center and a news agency. These outlets were operating in Helmand, Kandahar, Badakhshan, Takhar, Baghlan, Samangan, Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, Faryab, Nuristan and Badghis.
Since April, more than 1,000 reporters and media workers, including 150 women, lost their jobs. Two journalists have lost their lives in the last two months including Indian photojournalist Danish Siddique.
Amid the ongoing clashes, media-supporting groups said they are concerned about the fall of media outlets to the Taliban. Local media suggest that five radio stations have started pro-Taliban broadcasts in areas under their influence in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Samangan and Faryab provinces.
"Access to information, which is a right of the people, is taken from them and freedom of speech is taken from them," said Mujib Khalwatgar, head of Nai, an organization supporting open media in the war-torn country.
Since Biden administration announced its military drawdown from Afghanistan, Taliban has stepped up its offensive. With the deadline of US troops withdrawal less than a month away, intense battle in going between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces. (ANI)