US launches satellite TV channel for Afghanistan after Taliban bans VOA broadcast | world news

After the Taliban banned Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts from terrestrial television, the US government-funded news agency launched a 24/7 satellite television channel for the Afghanistan, local media reported.

The channel broadcasts uncensored news and information in the country’s Pashto and Dari languages, according to Voice of America (VOA).

VOA programs were banned from affiliated TV stations in Afghanistan beginning March 27, as part of a broad ban on content seen as undermining Taliban policies, including banning women from anchoring news bulletins. information with men.

The new VOA TV stream, identified as “VOA Afghanistan”, is on the Yahsat Y-1A satellite (52.2 degrees East), transponder 12 (downlink frequency 11.938 GHz), channel 469. The Yahsat satellite is the flat Afghanistan’s most popular form, ensuring the Afghan public will have access to VOA’s programming despite Taliban censorship, VOA reported.

“Afghanistan is now one of the most repressive media markets in the world,” said VOA Acting Director Yolanda Lopez.

“Despite the Taliban’s attempt to end press freedom, VOA News supports its Afghan audience with credible, authoritative news and information,” Lopez added.

VOA Afghanistan’s new satellite feed includes its popular newscasts “TV Ashna”, its women’s program “Etesal”, viewer appeal programming and programming from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Azadi radio. Additional programming is planned, including entertainment shows to fill a void in Afghanistan, where local channels cannot air music programs, VOA reported.

He further reported that the VOA satellite channel had been in development since August, before the fall of Afghanistan’s elected government. The channel is also accessible on YouTube and on the VOA’s Pashto and Dari language websites.

National and international critics say media and freedom of expression have deteriorated under Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

Afghan journalists have repeatedly been detained and subjected to violence by security forces. In December, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published an investigation, showing that at least 40% of Afghan media have disappeared and more than 80% of female journalists have lost their jobs since the Taliban took control of the country.

Hundreds of journalists have also left Afghanistan since August for fear of reprisals from the Taliban or because of problems related to the exercise of their profession under the new rulers.

More than 6,400 journalists and media workers have lost their jobs since August 15, when the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, according to the RSF survey.

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