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INTERNATIONALMEDIANEWS

“Journalists Will Not Be Persecuted, Women To Keep Media Jobs” – Taliban

Taliban, Russia, China To Jointly Address Regional Security

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman vowed that journalists will not be persecuted in Afghanistan and that women will be allowed to continue working in the media, RSF, a campaign group said in a statement on Tuesday.

Also, the Associated Press quoted Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, saying that a good environment will be created for women to work and study.

RSF, a Paris-based media freedom organisation, said the assurances were given by Zabihullah Mujahid, in a conversation on Sunday as the extremist group was taking over the capital Kabul.

BizWatch Nigeria recalls that the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani ran away on Sunday effectively ceding power to the Taliban, who have entered the capital Kabul to seal a nationwide military victory.

Freedom of the press

“We will respect freedom of the press because media reporting will be useful to society and will be able to help correct the leaders’ errors,” Mujahid was quoted as saying. “Through this statement to RSF, we declare to the world that we recognise the importance of the role of the media.”

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He added, “Journalists working for state or privately-owned media are not criminals and none of them will be prosecuted. In our view, these journalists are civilians and moreover, are talented young people who constitute our richness.”

Under the first period of Taliban rule in Afghanistan from 1996-2001, all media was banned except for the Voice of Sharia radio station “which broadcast nothing but propaganda and religious programmes,” RSF recalled in its statement.

The group said “only time will tell” if the statement should be taken seriously and it pointed to around 100 media outlets that have stopped operating since the Taliban’s rapid advance in the country.

Women

Mujahid when asked about the fate of women journalists said that they would be allowed to keep working, providing they wear a hijab, or hair-covering.

He said a “legal framework” would be established and in the meantime, they should “stay at home, without stress and without fear.”

“I assure them they will go back to their jobs,” he added.

About Author

Aina Adepeju is a Mass Communication graduate. Adepeju loves photography. She is a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). Adepeju can be reached via [email protected]

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