Taliban prohibits female media engagement in Khost, says watchdog

File Photo.

KHOST, Afghanistan — Taliban has imposed a ban on females contacting radio stations or television channels in Khost province in southeastern Afghanistan with warnings issued to media heads about airing female voices in their programs, according to a media watchdog group.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) obtained a statement from Abdul Rashid Omari, the Taliban commander of the security department in Khost. The statement criticized media for broadcasting educational and social programs involving girls.

The AFJC expressed alarm over this development and urged the Taliban to reverse its decision. The statement from Omari read, “Some private radio stations in Khost are promoting inappropriate content; a notable example is the broadcasting of school lessons and social programs where many girls participate.”

The statement accused girls of making “illegitimate contacts” with presenters during these programs, allegedly leading to “inappropriate behavior” and conflicting with “Islamic manners.”

A Taliban letter posted by AFJC.

Additionally, the statement instructed the provincial department of information and culture to address this issue with media organizations, noting the lack of required permits from the educational department for broadcasting educational content.

The AFJC labeled the security department’s decision as “unprecedented,” raising concerns among journalists about the activities of the information and culture department. There is growing suspicion that the department may be facilitating the issuance of such restrictive statements.

Currently, 15 private radio stations and 3 TV channels operate in Khost, in addition to the state-run TV and radio station of RTA, controlled by the Taliban.