Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Popular Afghan TV channel attacked by Afghan officials

Tolo Television, popular for its Indian soap operas and “Pop Idol”-style talent shows, has been “strongly condemned” by the Afghan Information and Culture Ministry for showing a scene of Afghan men and women dancing together, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday.

The ministry said that the program was “against the beliefs and traditions of the Islamic society of Afghnistan.”

Culture Minister Abdulkarim Khorram was quoted as saying, “Not only do we denounce this show, we will also try to find ways to prevent these issues from happening again.” Khorram has referred the matter to a state media-monitoring committee to determine if any laws have been broken.

However, other parliamentarians and journalists have stood up for the station, and label the attack as one against all free speech.

Rahimulla Smandar, the president of the Independent Afghan Journalist Association, insisted that the efforts to curb such broadcasts were not supported by the majority of Afghans, saying, “Afghans are tired of decades of war and restrictions, and now they want light and entertaining TV programs…Apart from a group of hard-liners and those who belong to jihadi or religious groups, the rest of society is in favor of such television shows.”

For the full article, click here.


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