Taliban raid four radio stations in Kandahar, arrest six media workers

Mellat Zagh radio

March 28, 2022

Kandahar: Taliban’s intelligence men raid the offices of four local radio stations in Kandahar city today and arrest six employees for several hours and briefly shut down the stations for violating a ban on music. Afghanistan Journalists Center condemns the arrests and demands their immediate release.

The intelligence forces from the Taliban’s Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) in Kandahar raided the offices of Mellat Zagh, Zma, Tabassum, and Sanag radio stations on Monday early morning. The detainees included Farid Alizai, Rahimullah Noori, and Mahmood Mehraban of Mellat Zagh, Waris Noori of Zma radio, Samiullah Wahdat of Tabassum radio, and Aghashir Manar of Sanga radio were held and transferred to GDI detection’s center, a journalist in Kandahar told AFJC.

“They were detained and being interrogated for breaking the Taliban music ban rule,” he said “This incident comes a day after GDI officials warned local media outlets on breaking the ban on music”

Taliban have banned music and female voices on television and radio channels following the takeover of Afghanistan in August last year.

Two days ago, Taliban intelligence men raided the house of Mirwais Atal, news director of Zma radio in Kandahar, and arrested him over a post on his Facebook page criticizing the Taliban’s ban on girls’ access to schools.

On March 23, the Taliban administration in Afghanistan announced that girls’ high schools will be closed, hours after they reopened for the first time in nearly seven months. The backtracking by the Taliban means female students above the sixth grade will not be able to attend school.

AFJC said: “The arbitrary arrest of media workers in Kandahar by the Taliban is unjustifiable and against the Afghan media law. While we call on the Taliban for the mediate release of detainees, we urge the Taliban to stop repression of media and journalists" “Such escalating attacks on journalists are a grave threat to the right to press freedom in Afghanistan.”

According to the AFJC’s data, at least 80 instances of detention of journalists by forces since the Taliban take over in August 2021.