On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, the Afghan media community expressed concern over the lack of access to information and the uncertain fate of media in Afghanistan.
The media community raised concern over increasing restrictions against them and the lack of a Commission of Media Violation (CMV), reported ToloNews.
"We are celebrating May 3 as more than 40 per cent of our media outlets have been closed. Around 80 per cent of women and 60 per cent of male journalists lost their jobs. The situation has also affected the content of our media organization," the media outlet quoted Hujatullah Mujadid, Head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association, as saying.
"Access to information and the formation of the Commission of Media Violation could reduce the problems with which the journalists are struggling right now," said Meer Ali Azghar Akbarzada, a member of the Afghanistan Journalists Federation.
Notably, this comes as World Press Freedom Day has brought attention from the international community to the concerning situation of Afghan media.
The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in a statement on World Press Freedom Day, said that they "deplore the erosion of rights for journalists and media institutions under the Taliban."
German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Jasper Wieck in a tweet said that "Press Freedom is key for Afghanistan and Afghans. Restrictions on national and international media outlets must stop."
Taking to Twitter, US Charge d'Affaires Ian McCary said, "On World Press Freedom Day, we should reflect on both the importance of free media and the sacrifices journalists make. We honour their sacrifice by protecting press freedom wherever it's under attack."
Meanwhile, refuting the allegations of imposing restrictions, the Taliban's spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said they support the activities of the media in Afghanistan.
"The main reason that (the) number of media outlets have stopped their operation(s) since the withdrawal of US forces was their reliance on foreign funding. We assure media outlets in Afghanistan, that we will do our best to help them solve their financial problems," the media outlet quoted him as saying.
Notably, the ever-increasing restrictions against media in Afghanistan have also drawn widespread criticism globally with the United Nations (UN) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decrying the arrests, demanding the Taliban stop harassing local journalists and stifling freedom of speech through continued detentions and threats.
With the consistent arbitrary arrests of journalists by the Taliban, the media in Afghanistan faces several restrictions. In the last seven months nearly 140 incidents of harassment of Afghan journalists and media workers have been recorded, ToloNews reported citing figures of media-supporting institutions.