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Afghan photographer who fled Taliban threats warns media is in danger

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AMSTERDAM (AFP) — The Taliban will shut down Afghanistan’s media and are fooling the West by promising to let journalists operate freely, an award-winning Afghan photographer said after fleeing Kabul over threats by the group.

Massoud Hossaini, who scooped a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 while working for Agence France-Presse and is now freelance, said Afghanistan’s new rulers were already restricting female journalists in particular.

The 39-year-old’s dire warning on the future of the media in Afghanistan comes as he recovers from a dramatic escape from Kabul on the last commercial flight the day the Taliban took power.

“It is going to be really, really bad. They are trying to kill the media but they are doing it slowly,” Hossaini, who is currently staying in the Netherlands, told AFP on Friday.

“When Taliban capture someone, first of all they capture someone and then kill them, and this is now happening to media in general.”

After the fall of Kabul, Taliban officials stressed that the media, including women, could continue to operate freely and would not be harassed.

The Taliban even held a formal press conference where the group’s spokesman took questions.

But Hossaini — whose 2012 picture of a green-clad Afghan girl crying in horror after a suicide attack also won second prize in the spot news category of the World Press Photo awards — said........

© The Times of Israel

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