IMC condemns "musical genocide" in Afghanistan

IMC Condemns ‘Musical Genocide’ in Afghanistan

The International Music Council (IMC) has condemned what it described as the “cultural and musical genocide” in Afghanistan by the ruling Taliban. Like their first reign, the Taliban has denied once again the people the right to enjoy music, the IMC added.

“Today as during the first reign of the Taliban, the group turned Afghanistan once again into a silent nation and denied the Afghan people, children, and adults, the right to enjoy access to music, to learn, experience, create, perform, and express themselves through music in all freedom,” the Council said in a statement on Tuesday, December 12.

According to the statement, Afghanistan’s artistic soul has faded from public view and its musicians live under continuous threat and hardship. Afghan musicians are not allowed to make a living through music under Taliban rule, the IMC asserted.

The Council noted, “The total ban on music in Afghanistan is a violation of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that ‘Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts,”.

It further went on to condemn the “cultural and musical genocide” in Afghanistan and the Taliban’s unrelenting suppression and violation of the Five Music Rights of the Afghan people, including access to music education.

The IMC also expressed serious concern over the closure of music learning centers, including the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, and regarding the musicians being treated as “criminals” because of their profession.

Moreover, the IMC called for the raise of collective voices against the erasure of music life in Afghanistan, demanding restoration and respect for the Five Music Rights in the country.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Voice has declared a ban on listening to music believing that it is harmful to the morality of youths in Afghanistan.

As part of the ban, the group has effectively prohibited musical parties, particularly the broadcast of music at wedding parties.

In some cases, members of the group have beaten and humiliated artists, including musicians, in the country.

Fearing the Taliban repercussion, many artists have either fled Afghanistan or stopped performing their artistic skills.