Kabul: A video of a television anchor surrounded by armed Taliban fighters is being widely shared on social media even as the militants had assured freedom of the press. The 42-second clip, tweeted by the BBC reporter Kian Sharifi and Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, shows the host of a debate program reading a statement from the Taliban with at least eight Taliban armed fighters.
“With armed Taliban fighters standing behind him, the presenter of Afghan TV’s Peace Studio political debate program says the Islamic Emirate wants the public to cooperate with it and should not be afraid,” Sharifi tweeted.
“This is surreal. Taliban militants are posing behind this visibly petrified TV host with guns and making him say that people of #Afghanistan shouldn’t be scared of the Islamic Emirate. Taliban itself is synonymous with fear in the minds of millions. This is just another proof,” tweeted Alinejad, Iranian Journalist.
Last week, Deutsche Welle said that one of the Journalist’s relatives was killed by the Taliban while hunting for him. The German public broadcaster said that the Taliban were conducting a house-to-house search for the journalist, who now works in Germany.
“The killing of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban yesterday is inconceivably tragic and testifies to the acute danger in which all our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves. The Taliban are already carrying out organized searches for journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces. We are running out of time!” Deutsche Welle director-general Peter Limbourg said.
A US-based Committee to Protect Journalists said that the Taliban must stop attacking journalists whoever is covering the militant’s takeover of Afghanistan and allow them to operate freely.