Taliban spokesperson says they will respect press freedom

As the world watched closely when the Taliban took over Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that “no threat or reprisal will be carried out against journalists” under the Taliban.

“We will respect freedom of the press because media reporting will be useful to society and will be able to help correct the leaders’ errors,” Mujahid said. “Through this statement to RSF, we declare to the world that we recognise the importance of the role of the media.”

He did not give any undertaking in writing.

An RSF report in 2009 said, “The reign of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001 was a dark period in Afghanistan’s history.” All media were banned except one, Voice of Sharia, which broadcast nothing but propaganda and religious programmes. RSF thinks that some attention should be paid to the terms that the Taliban spokesman used in this unprecedented statement.