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31st Aug 2021

Shocking footage shows reporter read the news surrounded by armed Taliban

Danny Jones

Afghan TV presenter speaks with eight armed Taliban soliders behind him

So much for ‘free and independent media’ in Afghanistan

In a truly spine-chilling video, a TV presenter in Afghanistan has urged the general public to “cooperate” with the Taliban and reassured viewers they “should not be afraid” – while being surrounded by armed militants holding automatic weapons

The video, somewhat ironically, was taken from the political debate show, Pardaz, on Afghanistan’s Peace Studio network.

Yalda Hakim – who was applauded for her exceptional handling of an impromptu interview with a Taliban spokesperson over a fortnight again –  shared the “surreal” footage on Twitter.

Kian Sharifi, another BBC journalist and former Financial Tribune writer – an English newspaper based out Iran – also shared an extended video of the TV segment where the presenter proceeded to interview a seemingly more senior Taliban soldier.

Just over a week ago, the Taliban held their first press conference since the August 15 takeover, claiming that they were not the same group as was in power 20 years ago and reassured the world’s media the press would remain “free and independent”.

However, it now seems apparent that censorship will play a key role in how the group outwardly present themselves.

In contrast, many reports have already come out of Afghanistan following the power shift that paints a very different albeit familiar picture. Music being banned, women being killed for not wearing burqas and ‘bad cooking’ and, of course, the attack at Kabul airport.

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