Taliban Ban VOA Radio and Radio Azadi Broadcasts in Afghanistan

The Taliban have imposed many restrictions on media outlets since their return to power in August 2021. This time, the group has recently banned Voice of America Radio, and Radio Azadi (Radio Free Europe) broadcasts in the country. These two international media platforms had their broadcasts on medium waves from outside and FM from inside Afghanistan.

According to the new guidelines issued by the Taliban Ministry of Information and Culture, Voice of America Radio broadcasts inside Afghanistan will be halted from December 1st onwards.

Taliban-controlled Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) has reported that Radio Azadi broadcasts have been stopped in 13 major cities of Afghanistan.

Abdul Haq Hammad, head of the Taliban Ministry of Information and Culture, stated via a tweet, that the reason for the ban on Radio Azadi broadcasts is due to non-compliance with “journalistic principles and one-sided broadcasts.”

Previously, the Taliban barred international media platforms, including BBC and Voice of America, and their TV programs were taken off the air waves in Afghanistan.

Since their return to power, the Taliban imposed extensive restrictions on freedom of expression and the press. According to a survey conducted by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Afghanistan has lost about 40% of its media outlets and around 60% of its journalists, especially female journalists, since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021.