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Taliban Targets Media in Afghanistan

On Tuesday, the Taliban's leader Mullah Mohammed Omar announced that the publication of any information in opposition to the Taliban is a crime punished by a 5-year jail sentence.

This comes in response to reports that the security of foreign aid workers in Afghanistan is not guaranteed. Omar stated that "Incorrect information that the security of foreigners is not guaranteed is propaganda of the opposition and anyone who reports this, whether they are Taliban or non-Taliban, will be sentenced to five years in jail."

This mandate is an additional oppression by the Taliban to curtail the freedoms of Afghanistan people. Since they took control in 1996, the Taliban, an extremist militia, seized control of the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, and violently plunged the occupied territories of Afghanistan into a brutal state of gender apartheid.

Gender apartheid against women has resulted in: banishing women from the work force, closing schools to girls in cities and expelling women from universities, prohibiting women from leaving their homes unless acompanied by a close male relative, ordering the publicly visible windows of women's houses painted black, forcing women to wear the burqa -which completely shrouds the body, leaving only a small mesh-covered opening through which to see, denying women and girls admittance to most hospitals and from being examined by male physicians while at the same time, prohibiting most female doctors and nurses from working. If they violate any of these laws, women are brutally beaten, flogged, and even killed.

This announcement to control the media comes on the heels of the withdrawal of some international Red Cross workers, after eight workers were abducted, beaten, and robbed.

Media Resources: AP - June 23,1999



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