The recent decision to prohibit Afghan local media from airing foreign TV channels’ news programs provoked reactions globally.
The Voice of America (VOA), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and the German company Deutsche Welle (DW) on Sunday reported that their news programs have been banned from local media broadcasts in Afghanistan.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and other supporting media organizations called on the Islamic Emirate to reconsider its decision. Yolanda Lόpez, the VOA acting director, urged Afghan rulers to reconsider the decision, calling it a “troubling decision."
“The halt of international channels’ programs does not meet the favor of either the government or the people of Afghanistan, so we ask the Islamic Emirate to end this,” said Hujatullah Mujadidi, a member of the Afghanistan Federation of Journalists and Media.
The BBC called on the Islamic Emirate to reverse its decision and the DW said it is an increased restriction on freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Afghanistan.
“This is a sign of increasing restrictions on access to information. We ask the Islamic Emirate to prepare a clear mechanism for media publication, instead of imposing a ban on international media programs in Afghanistan,” said Masroor Lutfi, head of the media section at the Afghanistan National Journalist Union.
UNAMA said on Twitter that it is another repressive step against the people of Afghanistan and RSF condemned the decision and called this a "new restriction on freedom of information" and called for the "immediate return of the censored newscasts.”
Meanwhile, the head of the publication department at the Ministry of Information and Culture said there is no problem with the content of international TV programs, but the dress of the channels' presenters is against the Islamic values and Afghan principles, and this is the major reason behind the recent decision.