Taliban issued a new diktat whereby they will be punishing those who criticise “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” scholars and public servants without any authenticity, be it with gesture, word or anything else.
Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesperson of the Taliban published new “instructions” attributed to their leader, Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, and their implementation was called the “Sharia responsibility” of the people and the media, reported Voice of America (VOA).
As per the new instructions from the Taliban’s supreme leader Akhundzada, the public were told to stop unnecessary accusations against Taliban government workers and officials.
In the declaration, it is not clearly stated what kind of “criticism away from reality” is, but in social media and television debates, some people and experts make comments and criticisms on the actions of the Taliban government from time to time. In particular, the Taliban rulers are heavily criticized for preventing girls’ education, and women’s and human rights.
According to the reports of some human rights organizations and media, the Taliban have “arrested, imprisoned and tortured some people who criticised them on social media”.
In the “new instructions” of the Taliban leader, such actions are considered as “negative propaganda” that “unconsciously helps the enemies”, but they did not give an explanation about the “enemies” or any group, reported VOA.
At the moment, the “Resistance Front” is fighting the Taliban government in Afghanistan and this group has repeatedly accused the “Taliban of arresting, killing and injuring civilians”, but the Taliban authorities have denied it.
In the “instructions” of the leader of the Taliban, the Taliban said that if any person “touches any soldier, or pulls his clothes, or say bad things to him” will be considered as a punishable act, reported VOA.
The leader of the Taliban openly told the media and people to “implement the new instructions” and considered it their “Sharia responsibility”.
The new directives of the Taliban leader are being published at a time when, some time ago, at the “Great Meeting of Scholars” in Kabul, a Mullah from Herat, Mujibur Rahman Ansari, asked the participants of the meeting to issue such a fatwa that the “heads of the opponents of the Taliban government” be beheaded, reported VOA.
Some analysts are of the opinion that these new instructions of the leader of the Taliban mean to further upset and limit the freedom of speech and opinion. Some people have criticized these new instructions of the Taliban leader on social media, added VOA.
Baitullah Hamidi, professor of journalism faculty of Kabul University, wrote on his Facebook page that this situation will “make the oppression and violence in the country stronger and more frightening.”
He also wrote that “nobody is free from criticism in the face of the world.” No emir or any other human being is so sacred that he should not be criticized…. This is the final nail in the coffin of freedom of speech.
The Taliban had previously arrested and imprisoned some media workers in Afghanistan. They included Tolo private television staff and journalists. The Taliban officials said that these journalists and officials were called for “explanation.”
Earlier, the Association of Free Journalists of Afghanistan and the Center of Journalists of Afghanistan said in a joint report that violence against journalists has doubled after the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)