Taliban bars BBC TV programs from being scheduled

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After the Taliban instructed local networks not to show content from outside partners, BBC TV programming was taken off the air in Afghanistan.

The BBC said it will affect more than six million viewers of Persian, Pashto, and Uzbek language service programmes, calling it a “worrying trend.”

The BBC Persian TV channel is still available, but only to the 20% of Afghans have satellite television.

Services such as radio and the internet are unaffected.

Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, and China Global Television Network are among the international broadcasters whose programming was taken off the air as a result of the verdict.

In a period of “uncertainty and turbulence,” BBC World Service head of languages Tarik Kafala said it was critical that Afghans had access to unbiased journalism.

“We demand that the Taliban rescind their decision and enable our television partners to broadcast the BBC’s news programmes immediately,” he continued.

The BBC had been broadcasting in Pashto for half an hour every day via Afghan partner stations prior to the verdict.

Similar arrangements allowed for 15 minutes of programming in Uzbek five days a week and 60 minutes of programming in Persian five days a week, with two weekly current affairs programmes in between.

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