Censorship on journalism in Afghanistan

The Taliban’s response to journalists covering protests


Posted by Afghan JusticeSeekers on Flickr

Over the course of two days, there have been 14 confirmed cases of journalists in Afghanistan being detained while covering women’s protests in Kabul. Most of these victims were brutally beaten while in custody.


Two video journalists named Nemat Naqdi and Taqi Daryabi described the beatings in detail, with Naqdi claiming that the beatings were so intense that, “[he] really thought that this was the end of [his] life.”


This use of violence not only threatens the safety of journalists, but also threatens the freedom of press in Afghanistan. The Taliban had previously claimed that independent news outlets in Afghanistan could continue as long as they did not broadcast anything that goes against Islamic values or goes against national interest. While it seems that this means journalists are safe to continue, in reality, the Taliban have the authority to deem anything that they want to be against national interest, essentially giving them control of the news. In an interview with Mrs. Tatian, she suggested that, “When you have a ruling party or a government that wants to oppress the press or silence the press clearly they are looking to hide something.” 


Since these journalists put their safety on the line to deliver the truth, the world knows what the Taliban is trying to hide. This era of truth may not last. The security general of the International Foundation of Journalists, Anthony Bellanger believes that journalism in Afghanistan may begin to decline if the Taliban threatens and attacks journalists more severely than they already are.


As of right now, there are an estimated 1,300 journalists in Afghanistan, 220 of those being women. These numbers may be dwindling, and it will continue to become more dangerous to report in Afghanistan as time goes on.