Kabul: The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has decided to ban the broadcasts of international media outlets being telecasted via local media.
The BBC became the first to stop broadcasts Sunday night, reports Khaama Press.
In a statement, the BBC has asked the Taliban to reverse its decision, saying it would affect more than six million viewers of Persian, Pashto and Uzbek language service programmes.
The BBC Persian TV channel can still be accessed, but only by the 20 per cent of Afghans who have satellite TV.
“The BBC’s TV news bulletins in Pashto, Persian, and Uzbek have been taken off air in Afghanistan after the Taliban ordered our TV partners to remove international broadcasters from their airwaves,” Khaama Press quoted the statement as saying.
Besides the BBC, the Taliban has also banned Voice of America, German Deutsche Welle and China Global Television Network from further broadcasts.
Since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August last year, 40 per cent of media outlets in the country, while an estimated 6,400 journalists are currently unemployed, according to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
More than 80 per cent of Afghan female journalists have also lost their jobs since the fall of Kabul.
Afghanistan ranked 122 in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.
In a report published in February, the RSF said that at least 50 journalists and media workers have been detained briefly or arrested by the police or the Taliban’s intelligence agency called “Istikhbarat”.
Under a decree issued in November 2021 by the Ministry for Promoting Virtue and Suppressing Vice, journalists were forbidden from interviewing commentators who might criticise the Taliban regime, or invite them to take part in TV studio discussions.
Women journalists were told that they must wear full hijab, according to the RSF.