The chilling scene which has been shared on social media appears to show a TV host from the Afghan TV network Peace Studio’s Pardaz political debate program flanked by militants
A mob of armed Taliban soldiers appeared to surround a news anchor during a live segment on national Afghanistan television.
The chilling scene which has been shared on social media appears to show a TV host flanked by a gang of gun-wielding militants addressing an audience.
The clip appears to be from the Afghan TV network Peace Studio’s Pardaz political debate program.
As the armed group watch on menacingly the TV anchor reads out a Taliban statement, which reportedly calls on the Afghan people to ‘not be afraid.’
One commentator called the unsettling recording ‘surreal’ and said it was synonymous with the fear many people have of the brutal regime.
The footage was shared by BBC World News anchor Yalda Hakim and posted on Twitter.
Translating the clip, the journalist said the host can be heard discussing the fall of the government and saying that “the Afghan people should not be afraid”.
She went on to describe the situation as surreal, and added: “This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV — Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host.”
According to reports the at least eight-strong group of militants stormed the TV station before demanding the presenter spoke to them.
In a fuller clip of the incident the presenter is apparently seen to be conducting an interview with a Taliban fighter speaking in Dari and Pashto, the two official languages in the country.
Commenting on the clip Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad said on social media: “This is surreal.
“Taliban militants are posing behind this visibly petrified TV host with guns and making him say that people of Afghanistan shouldn’t be scared of the Islamic Emirate.
“Taliban itself is synonymous with fear in the minds of millions. This is just another proof.”
Between 1996 and 2001 all media was banned under Taliban rule in the country, except for Voice of Sharia, which broadcast propaganda and religious programmes.
In a statement to Reporters Without Borders earlier this month Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the regime would respect press freedom.
He said: “We will respect freedom of the press, because media reporting will be useful to society and will be able to help correct the leaders’ errors.
“Through this statement to RSF, we declare to the world that we recognise the importance of the role of the media.”