On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that since the Taliban assumed complete control of the country, no journalists have been killed in Afghanistan.
In a string of tweets on Wednesday, November 2, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesperson for the Taliban government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that since they came to power, the media and its representatives have not faced any security issues.
“Following the complete takeover of power by the IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan), not a single journalist has lost their life nor have any media centers or representatives faced any security challenges,” Balkhi wrote on Twitter.
Taliban official, Balkhi, claimed that the Taliban administration assures all media freedom and immunity to operate in accordance with Islamic principles and national interests within the framework of professional conduct.
Taliban firmly backs the dissemination of reality-based information. In order to achieve this, it has created a setting that is favorable for the activities of the media and its staff, notably by granting access to information in all regions of the country, Balkhi further stated.
According to a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, there are 14 international news organizations permanently operating in the country, and since 2022, over 700 journalists from Asia, Europe, America, and Australia from 196 news organizations, have had their visits facilitated.
The Taliban statement came at a time when the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that since the Taliban took control, it has recorded over 200 cases of human rights violations against journalists.
The UNAMA office also stated that there is “peril” to the media in Afghanistan and demanded that impunity for crimes against journalists end.
Additionally, according to the Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC), during the past 20 years, targeted armed attacks have claimed at least 127 journalists’ and media workers’ lives.
According to statistics released by the AFJC, since 2001, at least 127 journalists and media personnel have died, 20 of them were women. Of these, at least 8 journalists—5 of whom were women—were killed in 2021 alone.