AFJC asks Taliban to reverse suspension of Noor and Barya TV stations

File Photo.

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghanistan Journalists’ Center (AFJC) condemned the Taliban’s suspension of the private television stations Noor and Barya, labeling the move as a violation of Afghanistan’s mass media law, according to a statement released by the center.

The organization criticized the Taliban’s actions as an attempt to further suppress free media activities and declared the suspension “unacceptable.”

The center stated that media outlets have the right to operate freely and that Taliban officials should not impose restrictions or threaten their activities.

Taliban’s media violations commission on Tuesday, April 16, decided to halt broadcasts from Noor and Barya TV pending a court decision.

The commission said Noor and Barya TV networks “repeatedly failed” to comply with journalistic standards, disregarded “national and Islamic values,” and promoted “ethnic, linguistic, and regional biases.”

But AFJC said that “what the media violations commission has marked as violations by these two media are, in fact, part of the legal rights of the media”.

The Media Violations Commission ceased operations in August 2021 after the fall of the previous government but was later reinstated by the Taliban with selected members.

Currently, the operations of the private television stations Noor and Barya in Kabul are suspended following a directive from the Taliban.

Noor TV is owned by Salahuddin Rabbani, leader of the Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan, and Barya TV is owned by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan.

The move also comes after the Taliban’s ban on activities of political parties in Afghanistan.