Afghan female journos fear increased Taliban curbs

1/9/2022

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A number of female Afghan journalists have confirmed that restrictions imposed against them by the Taliban have increased, saying they were worried about their future in the war-torn nation, the media reported.

The journalists have claimed they were not allowed to enter press conference held by Taliban officials, TOLO News reported.

"We went to cover two events; one event was organised by the Kabul governor and the other was by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum. We were not allowed to attend the events," Amina Hakimi, a TOLO News reporter, said on Sunday.

Another journalist, Suhaila Yousufi calimed that "freedom of press in Afghanistan is facing serious restrictions and the continuation of this situation will create big obstacles in the way of reporters, especially female reporters".

Meanwhile, a number of organisations supporting free media in Afghanistan said restrictions against female reporters are worrisome.

"Since the new government has been in power, the number of female media workers has decreased and this is worrying for us," said Jamil Waqar, an official from the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee.

"We urge the decision-makers of this government to not have double standards against journalists. Female reporters have the same rights as male reporters to attend meetings (press conferences)," said Masroor Lutfi, a media officer at Afghanistan National Journalists' Union.

The Taliban officials, however, said they do not intend to impose restrictions on reporters and the media.

"So far, we have not received any specific complaints that female reporters are facing a problem," TOLO News quoted Inamullah Samangani, the Taliban's deputy spokesman, as saying.

Last December, a survey conducted by the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) showed that 40 per cent of media outlets have closed in the country since the Taliban takeover on August 15, 2021.

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