Washington, D.C. — In response to orders from Taliban officials to stop broadcasting all USAGM-funded programming on FM and AM transmitters operated by Radio Television Afghanistan, CEO Amanda Bennett issued the following statement:
“This action by the Taliban will be seen for what it truly is— an effort to restrict Afghan citizens’ access to uncensored information,” said Bennett. “The people of Afghanistan have the right to know all of the facts, including the information the Taliban is hoping to censor in this flagrant attack on press freedom.”
USAGM research in 2022 indicates that Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty content is reaching 66% of Afghan adults with access to a mobile phone on a weekly basis.
“Afghan citizens are seeking out independent, fact-based journalism from Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and this action by the Taliban is a reminder of the importance of press freedom,” Bennett added. “Repressive governments around the world like this one clearly understand the power of independent media — that is why they spend so much time and effort fighting it. We are already exploring alternate transmissions, and we will not let this action deter us.”
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