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Shocking! Afghan TV anchor backed by armed Talibans while imparting message; video surfaces

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A video of a TV anchor surrounded by armed Taliban fighters was widely shared on social media, despite the hardline Islamic organization guaranteeing press freedom and declaring that people should not flee the country. A 42-second clip shared on Twitter by BBC reporter Kian Sharifi and Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad shows a political talk show host reading the Taliban and at least eight Taliban fighters.

“With armed Taliban fighters standing behind him, the presenter of Afghan TV’s Peace Studio political debate programme says the Islamic Emirate (Taliban’s preferred name) wants the public to “cooperate with it and should not be afraid,” Sharifi tweeted.

Tweet by Sharifi

Sharifi said in another tweet that the show was called Pardaz, and the host later interviewed a Taliban fighter who “presumably outranks the rest of the lot in the studio.”

Tweet by Alinejad

“This is surreal. Taliban militants are posing behind this visibly petrified TV host with guns and making him to say that people of #Afghanistan shouldn’t be scared of the Islamic Emirate. The Taliban itself is synonymous with fear in the minds of millions. This is just another proof,” tweeted Alinejad.

German journalist killed by the Taliban

TV anchor

Last week, Germany claimed that a relative of one of its journalists was killed by Taliban militants while looking for him. The German public broadcaster said on Thursday that the Taliban is conducting house-to-house searches on the reporter who is now working in Germany. The broadcaster said that the Taliban also attacked the homes of at least three other Deutsche Welle reporters.

Statement by Peter Limbourg

“The killing of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban yesterday is inconceivably tragic and testifies to the acute danger in which all our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves. It is evident that the Taliban are already carrying out organized searches for journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces. We are running out of time!” DW director general Peter Limbourg said.

Taliban must stop targeting journalist

A day ago, the US-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists stated that the Taliban must stop targeting journalists reporting on the organization’s takeover of Afghanistan and allow them to operate freely. There are at least four media workers in the country, including three employees of the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle in hiding.

Statement by Steve Butler

The Taliban needs to stand by its public commitment to allow a free and independent media at a time when Afghanistan’s people desperately need accurate news and information. The Taliban must cease searching the homes of journalists, commit to ending the use of violence against them, and allow them to operate freely and without interference,” CPJ Asia program coordinator Steven Butler said.

Violence against journalists should be stopped!

The Committee to Protect Journalists said it is also investigating reports that Taliban militants beat at least two journalists in the eastern city of Jalalabad when they reported on the August 15 protests against the takeover of Afghanistan. The watchdog also stated that it suspects Taliban militants shot and killed. On August 9, Toofan Omar, manager of the private radio station Paktia Ghag Radio, kidnapped a reporter from another private news channel, Gharghasht TV.

Also Read: Taliban allows women to attend university by Sharia law; no mixed classes

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