Govt vows to protect media houses against threats
“The freedom of expression is one of the strong pillars of democracy and is one of the values of the national Constitution, so preservation and protection of these values is the responsibility of the government,” the Presidential Palace said a statement.
It said no effort would be spared to protect independence of the media and safeguard journalists.
The Taliban issued a statement yesterday proclaiming two leading privately-owned TV stations to be “military targets.”
The communiqué from the “Military Commission of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the Taliban said: “From now on we regard Tolo TV and 1TV as military targets and not as news media.. There will be no immunity from our attacks, either for the personnel (presenter, reporters or crews) or for the buildings themselves.”
The statement said the decision was prompted by the TV stations’ coverage of the three-day Taliban occupation of the northern city of Kunduz.
Like other media, Tolo TV and 1TV reported acts of rape and looting by Taliban fighters during the occupation – reports confirmed by the United Nations, international NGOs and other sources.
The Afghan government called the Taliban’s threats against Islamic and national values, laws and principles and strongly condemned threatening media outlets, the statement said.
“Media outlets play a critical role in prosperity of a democratic government, educating citizens and supporting national and people interests, so it is the duty of the government to facilitate the media to continue they holy mission, the statement said.
The Taliban also accused the two channels of getting financial support from the US Embassy to promote western culture and broadcast false reports.
They said the two channels accused their fighters of raping girls at a hospital without offering any proof while the hostel had been closed on the account of Eidul Adha holidays when there was war in Kunduz.
Kunduz University officials had also denied the reports as baseless.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.