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Afghanistan’s Taliban government has ordered BBC news bulletins to be taken off air, according to the UK’s national broadcaster.
The BBC made the announcement on Sunday and said: “This is a worrying development at a time of uncertainty and turbulence for the people of Afghanistan.”
Tarik Kafala, who is head of languages at the BBC World Service, said that over six million Afghans consumed BBC’s “independent and impartial journalism” and said that it was crucial that they weren’t denied access.
“We call on the Taliban to reverse their decision and allow our TV partners to return the BBC’s news bulletins to their airwaves immediately,” Kafala said in a statement tweeted by BBC anchor and correspondent Yalda Hakim.
— Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) March 27, 2022
German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) cited Afghan media company MOBY Group as saying that the militant movement had also stopped broadcasting Voice of America (VOA) after orders from the Taliban’s intelligence agency. DPA said that this was confirmed by information and culture ministry spokesman Abdul Haq Hammad.
Many journalists fled the country when the Taliban seized control in August 2021. The Taliban’s move to halt international broadcasters from operating comes days after the group backtracked on a decision to reopen girls’ secondary schools.
This article was originally published on the DW.