Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

Taliban demand freedom of speech, condemn ban on attack cover

March 3, 2010
(Afghan widows in Kabul. Picture by Ahmad Masood)

(Afghan widows in Kabul. Picture by Ahmad Masood)

Afghanistan’s Taliban have condemned a government plan to ban live coverage of their attacks, saying the measure was a violation of free speech.   For a group that had itself banned television, not to mention music during its rule from 1996 to 2001, that’s pretty rich irony.

On Monday, Afghan authorities announced a ban on filming of live attacks, saying such images emboldened the  militants who have launched strikes around the country just as NATO forces are in the middle of an offensive. A day later, officials promised to clarify the restrictions, and hinted they may row back from the most draconian measures.

But the Taliban appeared to have been stung to the quick and said that the ban was “an action against the recognized principles of freedom of speech” according to these reports. “By imposing the ban on the coverage of independent news organizations, the puppet government tries to hide its failure in face-to-face fights with the mujahedin in all corners of the country,” the Taliban were quoted as saying.

The United States has also expressed concern over the Afghan government’s move as have news organisations and rights groups.

During their reign the Taliban also banned cinemas, the Internet and all kinds of games, including kite flying. The ultra-Islamist regime closed all girls schools while women were not allowed to be seen in public unless covered in long veils and accompanied by male members of their families.

Free Speech, Chapter 1, Lesson 1, Page 1.
Speech advocating crime, threatening crime, or showing criminal acts is not covered by free speech law.
The police can, in all cases, confiscate the speech, in whatever it’s form, to prosecute the criminals. No government advocating free speech would ever allow criminal speech into the public arena where it may inspire others to emulate the crime.

Douche bags, run your snuff flicks around yourselves, and Allah be praised if you get caught. Firing squad for all murderers.

Posted by sammy4231 | Report as abusive

The way in which the taliban ought to be silenced is death not the law. The intent of these laws is good but produces problems down the road slippery slope style for those amongst us with not quite so evil messages as the taliban.

A less extreme comparison is of the kkk in the united states with those wishing to silence the kkk. The intent may be good but in using the law as the method to silence them you become no better than they are.

Posted by Deryl | Report as abusive

LOL! This is a classic case of a Kettle calling it black. It just shows that they get sustainance from the news media. he lesson- Do not give prominence to these terrorists.

Posted by Andrew White | Report as abusive

u.sarms.should take full control of pakistan to save pak nuclear arms.radheshyam gupta,advocate.

Posted by r. s.gupta.advocate.supremecourt.india,delhi | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see