Taliban tighten restrictions on education, media

Taliban officials in Afghanistan have said they will rule within the framework of Islam, when they regained power more than 3 months ago. But they now appear to be tightening controls on education and limiting press freedom.

A representative of the “Ministry of Vices and Virtues” visited a primary school in Kabul last month.

He stopped the math class that was taking place. Rather, the official spoke about the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic teachings.

The “Ministry of Vice and Righteousness” was known to severely restrict people’s activities the last time the Taliban was in power. The ministry was relocated in September. The restrictions on schools were then tightened. The Taliban are now trying to indoctrinate children with their ideology.

The Taliban are also putting pressure on the media. The “Ministry of Vice and Virtue” recently told local media that women journalists should cover their hair with a hijab when appearing on television. Taliban officials have also banned the showing of foreign films.

Some journalists say they feel there is increasing pressure on news gathering activities.

Taliban fighters were seen controlling a team from Kabul-based Tolo News television station. Crew members were trying to question people on the street.

Taliban fighters verified that the crew had a permit to do interviews.

The fighters stayed nearby and kept an eye on the crew, until the end of the talks.

Ameneh Hakimi, a reporter for Tolo News, said: “I always pay attention to my surroundings when interviewing people. I always need to ask the Taliban if it’s okay to film. The freedom of the press that I took for granted no longer exists.

The reporter said she wanted to continue doing her job for as long as she could, despite the difficulties.

A local group of journalists say more than 250 TV stations and newspapers have been forced to shut down since the Taliban took power.

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