Taliban bans news bulletins by the BBC and VOA from Afghan programs
A view of the BBC logo at Portland Place. The Taliban has banned news bulletins by the BBC, and Voice of America (VOA) from running in Afghan media, in a further restriction of freedoms in the country. Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA Wire/dpa
A view of the BBC logo at Portland Place. The Taliban has banned news bulletins by the BBC, and Voice of America (VOA) from running in Afghan media, in a further restriction of freedoms in the country. Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA Wire/dpa

The Taliban has banned news bulletins by the BBC, and Voice of America (VOA) from running in Afghan media, in a further restriction of freedoms in the country.

BBC Pashtu reported on Sunday that the broadcaster's news bulletins in the Pashto, Persian and Uzbek languages had been taken off air in Afghanistan.

The move came after the Taliban ordered BBC TV partners including Shamshad, Ariana, and Arezo local television stations to remove the international broadcasters from their airwaves.

Meanwhile a source at Afghan media giant MOBY Group told dpa that it had stopped broadcasting Voice of America (VOA) material as of Sunday, following orders by the Taliban's intelligence agency.

Earlier, Information and Culture Ministry spokesperson Abdul Haq Hammad confirmed to dpa that VOA’s television broadcasts on Afghan channels had been stopped. However, the US-funded broadcaster’s radio station remained operational in Afghanistan and no decision had been to block it.

The Taliban official said that culturally and politically, VOA television contradicted government policies.

The Taliban recently briefly detained 11 media workers including three TOLOnews employees after a crackdown on soap operas from abroad.

After the Taliban returned to power, many Afghan journalists fled. Numerous media outlets closed down, mainly due to economic problems.

Meanwhile many journalists who are still in Afghanistan no longer feel able to report openly, fearing reprisals from the Taliban. Many have been imprisoned or tortured while carrying out their work.