US concerned about Taliban pressure on media

A US State Department spokesperson has expressed concern about the Taliban's increasing pressure on journalists following the group's takeover of Afghanistan.

Despite claims by the Taliban that they will allow free media within the framework of Islam, the militant group has already targeted some journalists.

Earlier this week, Taliban fighters shot dead a family member of a journalist with Germany's public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. They also blocked a female news anchor from going into work at Afghanistan's state-run broadcaster.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Friday that the US is taking these reports "extraordinarily seriously."

He called the issue a "basic matter of freedom of the press," and said the media should be able to report without intimidation.

Asked if the US will send COVID-related funding to Afghanistan, Price said the US will not provide assistance to any government that does not uphold basic obligations to its people.