Women-run radio in Badakhshan province resumes broadcasts after temporary shutdown

April 7, 2023

Faizabad, Badakhshan- The Seday-e-Banwan [Women's Voice] radio station in the northeast province of Badakhshan has resumed its broadcasts after being temporarily shut down for playing music during the holy month of Ramadan.

According to Najia Sorosh, the head of the station, the doors of Banowan radio station were unlocked and broadcasting resumed today around 11:45 am. This decision was made after a commitment was given to officials at the information and culture department.

Hekmatullah Mohammadi, the director for information at the Information and Culture department in Badakhshan province, explained that the station was shut down on March 30 for violating the "laws and regulations of the Islamic emirate" by playing songs and music during Ramadan.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center(AFJC) has welcomed the resumption of broadcasting by Banowan radio station but expressed concern over the sudden closure and its implications for press freedom in Afghanistan. The Taliban, who took over Afghanistan in August 2021, have banned music on television and radio channels. This ban has raised concerns about the independence and freedom of media outlets in the country.

"We urge Taliban authorities to ensure that the country’s media outlets operate independently and without fear of arbitrary closure and to safeguard the public’s access to information rights," stated the AFJC.

Seday-e-Banowan, which means women's voice in Peraian/Dari, is Afghanistan's only women-run radio station in Badakhshan province and has been in operation for 10 years.