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Female Journalist flees Afghanistan after interview with Taliban official

Female Journalist flees Afghanistan after interview with Taliban official

Beheshta Arghand, the Afghan television anchor who interviewed a Taliban official live on air has fled to Qatar, citing that militants are pushing women out of journalism and limiting the freedom of the press.

"When a group of people doesn't accept you as a human, they have some picture in their mind of you, it's very difficult," said the Afghan journalist.

Beheshta Arghand working in Tolo News, Afghanistan's only international channel, said that the Taliban official showed up at the studio uninvited two days after Kabul fell and demanded that he be interviewed. The interview was apparently Taliban's agenda to project an image in which they do not have extreme views regarding women's rights.

The Afghan journalist told Reuters that a week after the interview, her life fell apart. The Taliban has ordered Tolo News, her employer to make all women wear hijab by closely covering their heads but leaving the face uncovered.

She recalled how she adjusted her hijab to look traditional and ensured her body parts are not showing during the live interview.

The 23-year-old has become the first Afghan female journalist to quiz a member of the hardline group. She escaped on a US evacuation plane a week after the interview. "I left the country because, like millions of people, I fear the Taliban," she said in an interview with CNN.

Arghand said the terror group has asked local media to stop talking about the takeover and their rule.

She reached out to Malala Yousafzai seeking help because she had interviewed the Nobel winner earlier. Malala helped Arghand to get on Qatar's list of evacuees.

Despite Taliban assurances that the freedom of the media is improving every day, Several journalists and media personnel have fled the country since the takeover, fearing retaliation.

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TAGS:AfghanistanFemale JournalistTaliban Interview
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