At least 153 Afghan media outlets have stopped operations in 20 provinces following the Taliban takeover of the war-torn nation last month, a media report citing organisations supporting free media said.The TOLO News report on Monday said these outlets include radio, print and TV channels, and their closure was mainly due to economic problems and restrictions."If the organisations supporting media do not pay attention to the outlets, soon we will witness the closing of the remaining ones in the country," TOLO News quoted Hujatullah Mujadadi, deputy head of the Afghanistan Federation of Journalists, as saying.Masroor Lutfi, representative of the Afghanistan National Journalists' Union, has "urged the international organisations to take immediate action to address this problem. Otherwise, soon it will be the end of press freedom and other human and civil liberties".
According to the TOLO News report, the Paktika-based Milma Radio is one of the outlets that recently stopped its activities.It was established in 2011 and covered political, cultural, economic and sports stories."Due to an inappropriate working environment and economic problems, we stopped our activities," said Yaqob Khan Manzoor, editor-in-chief of Milma Radio.According to Manzoor, Milma Radio had 35 employees with an outreach to 13 provinces.Now all of the former employees are jobless.The organisations supporting free media in Afghanistan say economic problems are serious, and operating under restrictions creates big challenges for media.The Taliban, however, has said they will try to create safe environment for media and journalists to continue their jobs.