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No criticism of government, Taliban said in new decree: Report

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The Taliban said people on social media and TV debate experts were criticizing the government unnecessarily.

Kabul:

The Taliban issued a new decree that will punish those who criticize scholars and public servants of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” without any authenticity, whether by gesture, words or anything else.

According to the Voice of America (VOA) report, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid published new “directives” attributed to its leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada and called their implementation the “Shariah responsibility” of the people and the media.

According to new instructions from Taliban Supreme Leader Akhundzada, the public was asked to stop making unnecessary allegations against Taliban government employees and officials.

In the announcement, it is not explicitly stated how the “criticism is far from reality”, but in social media and television debates, some people and experts from time to time comment and criticize the actions of the Taliban government. In particular, the Taliban rulers are heavily criticized for preventing girls’ education, and women and human rights.

According to some human rights organizations and media reports, the Taliban have “arrested, imprisoned and tortured some people who criticized them on social media”.

In the Taliban leader’s “new directives”, such actions are considered “negative propaganda” that “unintentionally helps enemies”, but he did not give any explanation about “enemies” or any group, according to the VOA. gave information.

Currently, the “Resistance Front” is fighting the Taliban government in Afghanistan and the group has repeatedly accused the Taliban of “arresting, killing and injuring civilians”, but this has been denied by Taliban officials.

In “instructions” from the Taliban leader, the Taliban said that if any person “touches any soldier, or pulls on his clothes, or says bad things to him” it will be considered a punishable act, the VOA reports.

The Taliban leader openly called on the media and the public to “implement the new directives” and considered it his “Shariah responsibility”.

The Taliban leader’s new instructions are being published at a time when, at the “Great Meeting of Scholars” in Kabul, Herat’s Mujibur Rahman Ansari asked the meeting’s participants to issue such a fatwa. The VOA reported that “the heads of opponents of the Taliban government” be beheaded.

Some analysts are of the opinion that these new instructions from the Taliban leader are meant to further disturb and limit freedom of speech and opinion. Some have criticized these new instructions from the Taliban leader on social media, the VOA added.

Professor Baitulla Hamidi of Kabul University’s Faculty of Journalism wrote on his Facebook page that the situation would “make the persecution and violence in the country stronger and more frightening.”

He also wrote that “no one before the world is free from criticism.” No rich or no human being is pure enough to not be criticized… it is the last nail in the coffin of freedom of expression.

The Taliban had earlier arrested and imprisoned some media persons in Afghanistan. These included Tolo’s personal television employees and journalists. Taliban officials said these journalists and officials were called for an “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 had doubled in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the Taliban.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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