Were you aware that the Taliban are staunch defenders of freedom of speech and the press? Don’t believe, me just read the Taliban’s latest statement on the Afghan government’s proposed restrictions on press coverage of Taliban attacks. The statement, originally published at The Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s website, and reprinted below, is a curious mix of concern over the erosion of civil liberties and press freedoms that could have been written by a panel of members of the American Civil Liberty Union and Reporters Without Frontiers, and the standard Taliban frothing at the mouth over “puppets” and “occupiers.”
While reading the statement below, keep in mind that several journalists have been killed in IED attacks, while even more have been kidnapped and ransomed by the Taliban. And if you’re an Afghan reporter, forget abut the ransom; your chances of living are slim to none, with slim being beheaded.
Here is the statement:
According to international media reports, the Kabul Puppet Administration have warned media outlets not to publish or transmit live reports of events without obtainment of prior permission. In case of violation, they have threatened to arrest relevant reporters, seize their equipment and impose ban on activities of the concerned media outlet in a given area. International media outlets, civil societies and human rights organizations have condemned the irrational warning of the Kabul puppet administration. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers this measure of the surrogate administration as a flagrant violation of the recognized principle of freedom of speech and wants to announce as follows:
1. The ban on independent mass media outlets by the Puppet Administration is, in fact, an effort by the surrogates to put a clout on their failure and shameful fiascos, which they face during confrontations with the Mujahideen in every part of the country.
2. The monopolization of activities of independent mass media outlets by the Kabul Puppet Administration is a clear-cut violation of norms and regulation of neutrality, independence and liberty of speech and has no justification in the light of national and international laws.
3. The said unjustified step of the Kabul Puppet Administration, defacto, originates from the anti-human attitude of their masters i.e. the Americans, who are bent on imposing their dictatorship and the so-called abhorrent liberty on independent nations.
4. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan while inviting all activists of mass media to accurately publish ground realities, highly appreciates the courageous efforts of the fact-finding and investigative journalists, reporters and photographers who continue their duty to reflect the ground realities of the Afghans issue despite threats and obstacles that they are facing in their way.
5. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, pertinent to its previous request, urges all employees of independent and neutral media outlets to initially observe the losses inflicted on the invaders by the Mujahideen and the destruction caused to public properties by the invaders and then transmit or publish their reports for the judgment of the public of the world. This as a part of their obligation to fulfill their journalistic mission and convey the true picture of events to the people of the world without any inclination to support the aggression of the invaders.
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