The international media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday sought Taliban’s adherence towards press freedom in Afghanistan.
Citing reports of the Taliban’s raids at media workers’ homes after its takeover of Kabul, CPJ in a tweet stressed to justify their “public commitment towards free press”.
Asia program coordinator Steven Butler also said that the functioning of the press becomes highly important in a situation of chaos.
Taliban has taken over Afghanistan leaving its civilians in a state of fear, chaos and uncertainty regarding the manner in which the nation would be run under the new regime.
“The Taliban needs to stand by its public commitment to allow a free and independent media at a time when Afghanistan’s people desperately need accurate news and information,” CPJ said in a tweet.
CPJ’s statement assumes significance as it reported that around the homes of four journalists were raided by the Taliban militants after assuming rule over the country.
There have been reports that several journalists who have been critical of the Taliban have gone into hiding fearing threats to their life. It is claimed that two journalists were beaten by Talibani militants while they were covering a protest in Jalalabad on August 17.
Butler has demanded the Taliban to do away with such actions.
”The Taliban must cease searching the homes of journalists, commit to ending the use of violence against them, and allow them to operate freely and without interference,” his statement read.
After taking over Kabul, Taliban in its press conference has announced that press freedom would be allowed and media activities can continue under the new regime. They stressed that the working of private media won’t be curtailed and women would be allowed to continue to work in media wearing hijabs.
In the same press conference, they emphasized that activities of press should not be against the values of Islam and National Interest .
On August 16, CPJ asked the United States of America to ensure the safety of Afghan journalists by provision of Emergency visas and facilitating their safe passage.