Afghanistan: Over 150 media outlets shut down after Taliban takeover

Kabul: Over 150 media outlets in Afghanistan have shut down their operations in the last one month as they struggled to carry out their day to day functions after the Taliban takeover.

In addition to the economic crisis, the Taliban are restricting the right to information to the journalists, which has hampered the work of scribe organisations, Tolo News reported.

“Previously, we had projects from government and NGOs and ads from various companies, but now our financial situation is not good,” Abdul Salam Zahid who is the Head of Afghan-based ‘Bost Radio’ station informed.

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In addition to this, the media also face a lack of professional journalists as many experienced reporters have left the country, Tolo News reported.

“Media’s situation is not good, and it has many reasons. One reason is that professional reporters have left the country,” another reporter from a renowned media house informed.

“Media are dependent on advertisements but there is no advertisement right now. They will face financial problems in absence of ads,” a journalist informed.

Recently, the Taliban-appointed Deputy Minister of information and culture, Zabihullah Mujahid has said, “No restriction has been imposed on the free media in the country.”

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s private sector has also warned that the country would plunge into an economic crisis and called on the US to release its frozen assets.

The officials also said that so far, they have lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to the freezing of Afghanistan assets and the disruption in the banking system.

“We call on the United States and the world to solve the issue with the frozen assets because that money belongs to the people of Afghanistan. If you have political issues with the government or some people, you should not take people’s money hostage,” ACCI acting Director Yunus Mohmand said.

These assets have been freezed by the US after the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

Moreover, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have also stopped loans, and the Financial Action Task Force warned its 39 member nations to block Taliban assets.

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