'Sham', Escaped Journalist says on Taliban's promises of free mediatext_fields
Amsterdam: The Taliban is fooling the west by promising free space for journalists in Afghanistan, and it will shut down the country's media, the Pulitzer winner, Afghan photographer Massoud Hossaini, said, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP). He had dramatically escaped on the last commercial flight left the country before the Taliban took Kabul.
Currently, in the Netherlands, he told AFP that the situation is inching to worse in Afghanistan. Taliban will kill the media slowly by gradual shutting down media and the internet altogether. They are already restricting female journalists in particular, and their promises are sham, he said. The country might become "another North Korea". Their press conference is a "gimmick" to fool the international community, he said.
He narrated how journalists in Afghanistan are complaining about being curtailed by the country's new Islamist rule. The Taliban didn't even let a female journalist get out of her office as she was trying to leave. While no woman can walk in the street, female journalists wandering with a microphone is impossible, he said.
After Kabul was captured, the Taliban had reiterated that the media and women in the territory could continue to live freely and not be harassed. They had held a press conference where their spokesperson confronted the media.
On the bomb blasts in Kabul, he said that the scenes were nightmarish and horrible.
Massoud Hossaini worked with AFP earlier but, freelancing now, won his Pulitzer for a picture of an Afghan girl crying in horror after a suicide attack. The photo had also won second prize in the spot news category of the World Press Photo awards.
Hossaini escaped the country, on August 15, after learning that he was a potential target after his recent story got published. His story with a foreign journalist was about the Taliban carrying out forced marriages of women and girls to Taliban gunmen, which infuriated the terrorist group. After he received threats through social media, he left the falling country with his colleague.
He said he wants to go back to his home, Afghanistan, where his memories live, and he fell in love with photography.