How the Taliban takeover is affecting Afghan media

Taliban fighters walk toward journalists during a protest in Kabul on December 28, 2021. (Photo Mohd Rasfan/ AFP)

As the Taliban consolidated power in Afghanistan following its takeover in August 2021, journalists faced growing obstacles in doing their work and a bleak prognosis for the future of the vibrant media landscape that developed in the country over 20 years. The initial months of Taliban control saw raids on journalists’ homes, beatings, arrests, and the forcing of female reporters off the air. In 2022, as the emergence of the Haqqani-dominated General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) brought an even harder edge to the Taliban’s treatment of reporters, the group followed up on a May decree that all women to cover their faces in public with an order that all female TV presenters wear masks on air.

If you are an Afghan journalist needing help

CPJ is devoting the resources at its disposal to help Afghan journalists where possible. We are not equipped to evacuate people and only governments are able to issue visas, but are registering and vetting cases of Afghan journalists at risk of Taliban reprisals.

If you are an Afghan journalist seeking help, please send your information to [email protected]. Please note that we are receiving an extremely high volume of emails and are not able to respond as quickly as we would like to.

Online security

Taliban fighters patrol Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Evacuees from Afghanistan find temporary shelter in the US Army Rhine Ordonanz barracks in Kaiserslautern, Germany, August 30, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Spotlight: Journalists killed in Afghanistan

Since 2001, 64 journalists have died in Afghanistan in killings related to their work. Danish Siddiqui of Reuters and Mina Khairi of Ariana News TV lost their lives in 2021 and militant groups targeted at least five other reporters for murder in 2020, according to CPJ data.

CPJ’s advocacy for Afghan journalists

How you can help

For more information about helping CPJ’s work in Afghanistan and other areas where press freedom is at risk, please visit our support page.

If you have any questions about donating to CPJ, contact [email protected] or call (917) 975-4731.