TV Censorship in Afghanistan

 Afghanistan TV, an unsuprising target for censors



15th February
2009
  

Offsite: PixelAsian...

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Afghan TV stations find censorship line is blurry

Tolo TV logoThe young Afghan woman in a headscarf spends all day staring at other women's bodies and Hindu idols on her computer screen, then covering them up.

It's Laila Rastagar's job to turn Indian and Korean soap operas into family viewing in this conservative Muslim country. Dual flat-screen monitors illuminate the 22-year-old's face in the dark cubicle as she draws a blurry square with her mouse to obscure a collarbone, then a kneecap, then a Buddha statue.

She's one of a crew of such editors employed by Tolo TV, Afghanistan's most popular station, to censor shows in an attempt to balance its programming at the intersection of radical Islam, traditional values and the West.

...Read full article

 

15th March
2009
  

Update: Burkhas Off at Dawn...

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Afghan TV station defiant of government censorship threats

Afghanistan flagA new private Kabul television station, Emrooz, has made a name for itself by airing entertainment and music programs mainly focused on youth.

But the upstart broadcaster's quest for ratings has earned the wrath of authorities, with prosecutors accusing it of undermining Afghan society's traditional Islamic values and influential detractors threatening to revoke its broadcast license.

Critics are upset at the station for broadcasting scenes and clips of immodestly dressed women, notably Tajik and Indian singers and dancers.

Emrooz staff were questioned by Kabul prosecutors this week.

Fahim Kohdamani, a program editor at Emrooz, tells RFE/RL that station managers were repeatedly summoned by the Information and Culture Ministry before their case was referred to the Office of the Prosecutor-General.

Emrooz is the only Afghan television that does not censor music clips, Kohdamani says: We air video clips by Tajik, Iranian, Afghan, Indian, and even sometimes Arab and European music clips that show female and male performers signing and dancing. The Ministry of Culture has always had this problem with us.

Emrooz producers insist they have violated no laws but are being forced to choose between overly aggressive self-censorship and even more rigid censorship by government agencies.

Despite Emrooz's pending legal wrangle, and the threat of a lost television license for the station and lost freedom for some individuals within the company, Emrooz appears defiant.

The station is launching a national search for male and female models. The show will be broadcast monthly, with more than 2,000 contestants competing for two top prizes over four months. It will be Afghanistan's first publicly declared fashion program -- and it has already incurred threats.

But Emrooz executives, defiant in the face of such threats, say they will continue to break down taboos -- even if they must pay a price for doing so.

 

25th March
2009
  

Update: The Right to Bare Arms...

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Afghan TV station manager arrested over short skirts on TV

Afghanistan flagThe manager of an Afghan television network who refused to censor images of women dancing in short skirts and plunging necklines has been arrested.

The government has previously censured television stations and taken others to court, but the arrest of Emrose TV's Fahim Khodamani was the first for airing overly salacious content, the Afghan deputy attorney general said Tuesday.

Since the Taliban fell in 2001, television stations have flourished, pitting the issue of freedom of the press against conservative norms in a country where most women wear clothes that cover everything but their face and neck.

Aggressive Afghan government attempts to censor TV programs could be part of a strategy to temper conflict with the Taliban. Or it could be an attempt to siphon support from Afghans drawn to the Taliban's conservative style of Islam.

Many Afghan TV stations cut or blur scenes with women showing more than their face or neck, taking a conservative stance to avoid violating a vague government law that prohibits media content that is not within the framework of Islam.

Khodamani was arrested for refusing repeated requests to pixelate or otherwise obscure images of women dancing in short skirts or outfits with low necklines, said Deputy Attorney General Fazel Ahmad Faqiyar. The videos are relatively tame by Western standards.

The arrest comes days after Afghanistan's top Muslim clerics called on the government to block stations from airing prohibited and hypocritical anti-Islam programs and immoral scenes and movies.

 

 Update: A Culture of Inappropriateness...

Afghanistan TV channels in trouble for supposedly inappropriate music videos


Link Here 18th September 2012  full story: TV Censorship in Afghanistan...Afghanistan TV, an unsuprising target for censors

saba tv logo The Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information has brought legal proceedings against two popular entertainment television channels.

The ministry said Setara TV and Saba TV had broadcast inappropriate content, including revealing foreign music videos.

The ministry said the content violated a new media law, which bans programs that are deemed an affront to Afghan culture.

 

  Surely There Can't be Anything Left to Ban...

Afghan clerics ask for televised drama to be banned


Link Here 25th April 2013  full story: TV Censorship in Afghanistan...Afghanistan TV, an unsuprising target for censors

Afghanistan flagAfgahanistan's President Hamid Karzai has ordered further censorship of supposedly un-Islamic and obscene televisions shows in response to lobbying by the country's religious council.

Karzai told the culture ministry to block programs which are vulgar, un-Islamic, obscene and violate social morality, and Islamic morality , according to a statement from his Council of Ministers.

It said the move follows a request from the religious council to ban televised drama seen as promoting vice and prostitution.

There doesn't seem to be any details of the type of programmes which might be banned as a result of the order.

 

 Update: Tit for Tat...

Afghan clerics refuse to condemn suicide bombing unless TV is censored more


Link Here 27th October 2013  full story: TV Censorship in Afghanistan...Afghanistan TV, an unsuprising target for censors
Afghanistan flag Afghanistan's muslim Ulema Council claims that  immoral shows on television pose a greater danger to the country than do suicide bombers.

The spokesman of the council, Faroq Husseini, warned that if immoral shows were not prevented the clerics would not denounce suicide attacks any more.

 


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