Taliban bans cooperation with Afghanistan International news network

The Taliban’s media oversight commission announced on Wednesday, May 9, that it has banned cooperation with the Afghanistan International news network, accusing it of broadcasting against the regime. The announcement followed a session where the commission also called on the public to boycott the network.

The decree stated that Afghanistan International gives a platform to Taliban opponents through its content. The commission warned analysts, experts, and journalists against participating in discussions or collaborating with the network.

Additionally, the Taliban has prohibited the network from using public facilities to cover events or produce any content.

In response, Haroon Najafizada, the executive editor of Afghanistan International, criticized the Taliban’s decision as baseless.

“No amount of pressure will make us abandon our highest journalistic standards and professional ethics. Taliban pressures are a threat to free media, but they cannot stop our operations,” Najafizada said.

This move comes as part of broader restrictions after the Taliban banned two other television networks on April 17 for allegedly failing to adhere to “journalistic standards and undermining national and Islamic values.”

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, media outlets have faced increased pressure alongside economic challenges, resulting in 547 media operations, including 80 television networks, 137 radio stations, and 13 news agencies, halting their activities.

The Taliban has imposed severe restrictions on media operations and journalists, particularly women, over the past two and a half years.