Local radio stations crumbling under mounting restrictions


KABUL (SW) – In yet another blow to the free press in Afghanistan, the local “Sahar” radio in Herat, which was dedicated to women, has stopped operating due to restrictions and economic problems.

Fereshta Karimi, the manager of Sahar radio, told Salam Motandar that the economic problems and the current situation have caused him and his colleagues to be discouraged from continuing their work and unable to prepare and broadcast programs for their audience.

“Radio Sahar was one of those radios that unfortunately was in a bad economic situation and did not have funds to continue its activities. Another reason is that it was the only media that worked for women and almost 80% of its employees were women. The series of restrictions that were recently imposed on the media, especially on media such as Radio Sahar, caused most of our employees to be discouraged from working in the media.”

On the other hand, a number of radio officials and media support institutions in the western and southwestern provinces say that if the economic problems continue, more radio stations will be closed in these provinces.

Many local radios in Afghanistan have stopped operations. Based on the audience’s statements, in the current situation, radio is more accessible than any other media.

Abdul Basir, a resident of Firouzkoh city in Ghor, said: “In Ghor province, besides the fact that we listen to other radios, fortunately it has been more than nine to 10 years that Salam Watandar radio broadcasts here, and we always get information, programs and news. Salam Motwandar has very good programs and publishes very accurate and timely news and reports.”

However, officials in a number of provinces say that the leadership of the Ministry of Information and Culture has close cooperation with radio stations.

Naeemul Haq Haqqani, Herat’s head of information and culture, said: “Discussions related to radio, television and media are covered and guided, and all necessary measures have been taken to solve problems and create facilities for the radio people. »

World Radio Day is being celebrated in Afghanistan while just less than 170 of the 307 radios in the country are active.