BBC News banned in Afghanistan

The BBC’s TV news network has been banned from broadcasting in Afghanistan.

The British pubcaster said that the Taliban, which seized control of the country following the US’s military withdrawal earlier this year, has barred it from broadcasting in the three main languages of Afghanistan.

While the Taliban has said that it would not take action against those they disagree with, multiple human rights groups have raised concerns surrounding freedom of speech in Afghanistan. Several journalists have been arrested since the Taliban took over.

The BBC said that its news output is consumed by more than six million Afghans per week.

In a statement published by the BBC, Tarik Kafala, head of languages, BBC World Service said: “The BBC’s TV news programmes in Pashto, Persian and Uzbek have been taken off air in Afghanistan, after the Taliban ordered our TV partners to remove international broadcasters from their airwaves.

“This is a worrying development at a time of uncertainty and turbulence for the people of Afghanistan. More than six million Afghans consume the BBC’s independent and impartial journalism on TV every week and it is crucial they are not denied access to it in the future. We call on the Taliban to reverse their decision and allow our TV partners to return the BBC’s news programmes to their airwaves immediately.”

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on Twitter called the ban “another chilling development” and called it a “regressive step against the people of Afghanistan”.

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