August 1, 2023
Jalalabad, Nangarhar province- Taliban police “forcibly” entered the local office of Hamesha Bahar Radio and TV network in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province on Monday afternoon, disrupting a mixed-gender journalism training course.
Atal Khan Stanekzai, head of Hamisha Bahar Radio and TV network told AFJC that a group of 10 to 15 members of the Taliban provincial police forcibly entered the office of Hamisha Bahar Radio and TV network in the Police District (PD) 4 area of Jalalabad on Monday around 2:30 and “verbally abused” employees and attendees of a journalism training course, which included women.
According to Stanekzai, the short-term three months basic journalism training course was attended by 16 participants including 6 women.
A journalist from Jalalabad who asked to remain anonymous due to security concerns said:” Taliban used inappropriate language and disparaging remarks towards the attendees, referring to the mixed gender training as an act encouraging prostitution and pull us out of a the Hamisha Bahar office forcibly.”
Local authorities in Nangarhar province have not commented on this matter so far.
AFC said:” We are deeply disturbed by the attack on Hamisha Bahar Radio and TV network and closure of the journalism training course because of women attending and extremely concerned about the continuing campaign against free media that imperils the press freedom in Afghanistan.”
AFJC said:” Depriving women of their basic rights to pursue further education in journalism is unjustifiable and against the Afghan media law, and we call on the de facto authorities to lift the ban and other restrictions against free press and to allow the media outlet to resume the training course.”