“Visibly Petrified” TV Anchor Reads Headlines As Studio Stormed By Gun-Wielding Taliban

“Visibly Petrified” TV Anchor Reads Headlines As Studio Stormed By Gun-Wielding Taliban

A harrowing clip of an Afghani news presenter has gone viral after the studio was stormed by gun-toting members of the Taliban who menaced the presenter during his report.

News anchor Mirwaiz Haidari Haqdost was presenting in neat suit and tie for broadcaster Afghanistan TV when the studio was stormed by Taliban fighters who forced the newsreader to read a prepared script for viewers urging them “not be afraid” of the militant group after the collapse of the incumbent Ashraf Ghani government.

One of the great ironies of the video is a banner in the background identifying the programme as from “Afghanistan’s Peace Studio”.

Watch the terrifying footage below:

Taliban leaders have made assurances about allowing independent media being able operate in the country despite attacks on journalists since the US-led coalition left that’s even included the murder in Kabul of a close associate of a German-based media group.

Understandably social media users quickly condemned the footage and others concerned by press freedoms under the Taliban (who prefer to call themselves the Islamic Emirate.)

BBC anchor Yalda Hakim tweeted: “Afghanistan TV – surreal. This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host. The presenter talks about the collapse of the Ghani govt and says the Islamic Emirate says the Afghan people should not to be afraid.”

BBC reporter Kian Sharifi tweeted: “With armed Taliban fighters standing behind him, the presenter of Afghan TV’s Peace Studio political debate programme says the Islamic Emirate wants the public to ‘cooperate with it and should not be afraid’.”

Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad added: “Taliban militants are posing behind this visibly petrified TV host with guns and making him to 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.”

So concerned are some media groups in the country, a group called the Committee to Protect Journalists has been set up to stop the attacks on journalists and have demanded that the Taliban allow the press to operate freely.




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The Taliban TV reporter

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