A number of members of the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) on Sunday denounced the recent Taliban threats to TOLO and 1TV channels and called it an attack on freedom of speech.
Referring to the crimes committed by the Taliban in Kunduz, the senators stated that the Taliban’s threat against media outlets is an attempt to hide the crimes they committed in the northern city – which fell to the insurgent group about three weeks ago.
Last week, the Taliban issued a statement in which it declared TOLO and 1TV channels as their “military targets”.
They also issued death threats against the staff working at these two media outlets.
“The Taliban’s threat against two TV channels is an attack on freedom of speech and democracy,” Deputy Chairman of Senate Mohammad Alam Izadyar said. “We strongly condemn these threats.”
They called on the security agencies to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of media groups and the lives of journalists.
“We praise the work being done by the media in delivering information to the people,” Senator Anarkali Honaryar said. “We want the government to take serious measures to ensure the safety of journalists in the cities and in provinces.”
Meanwhile, CEO Abdullah Abdullah praised the courage of TV channels for continuing their work despite receiving threats from the Taliban.
He however promised to ensure the protection of journalists and media organizations.
“Despite receiving threats, the media continues their work and we really appreciate it,” Abdullah said. “It is the responsibility of government to ensure the safety of journalists and the government is doing that.”
This comes after a number of Afghan and international rights and media advocacy groups also denounced the threats of Taliban to media.
They called “any attack on media a war crime.”