Taliban released the 3 employees of Afghanistan’s largest television station, TOLO TV, who were detained over a report that the country’s new rulers had banned all broadcasts of foreign drama series, a channel executive said on Friday.
According to Khpalwak Sapai, head of the TOLO News department, who was one among the arrested said, 3 employees from TOLO TV were taken from the station on Thursday evening. Later Sapai said that he and Nafay Khaleeq, the station’s legal adviser, were released within hours of the arrest on Thursday. Journalist Bahram Aman, a news presenter, was kept in custody overnight and released on Friday evening, the station said.
Moby Group, the media company that owns TOLO TV, said the detentions were the result of the station reporting ‘about the banning of the foreign drama series’, a decision made by the Taliban-appointed ministry for the propagation of virtue and prevention of vice. The Taliban did not explain their ban, this was the latest restriction imposed since their takeover of the country in mid–August. TOLO TV is an Afghan-owned media company with interests in South and Central Asia as well as the Middle East and Africa.
The United Nations and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decried the arrests and demanded the Taliban to stop harassing Afghan journalists and stifling free expression through threats, arrests, and intimidation. The Taliban did not respond to requests for comment from the associated press.