Afghanistan: Music programmes lead to arrest

25 March 2009

0n 23 March 2009, Afghanistan’s attorney general office arrested Fahim Kohdamani, the manager of Amroz TV, allegedly for broadcasting “anti-Islamic” and “vulgar” programmes on his music show ‘Biya wa Bibin’ (‘Come and See’)..

According the general attorney’s office, he was arrested because of a letter from the Commission for Media Complaints and Violations of Ministry of Culture which claimed that Amroz TV has been broadcasting some music programmes which allegedly “are against Islam values and Afghan culture”.

Najibullah Kabuli, president of Amroz TV and an Afghan parliament member, said to Freemuse’s Afghanistan correspondent Samay Hamed that there are “political issues behind this action, and that music is just an excuse”. Najibullah Kabuli said that the Commission for Media Complaints and Violation generally is calling Western and Indian music ‘against Islam values’, and that the ministry is advocating against certain music video clips with dancing. He also explained that in spite of this, it is common that all private tv channels in Afghanistan broadcast such music programmes.

The Commission for Media Complaints and Violations has also accused Amroz TV for broadcasting “happy and entertaining songs” during Moharam — the lunar month in which the martyrdom of Imam Hossein took place.

Other sources said that Fahim Kohdamani’s arrest appeared to be linked to letters which clerics sent to President Hamid Karzai accusing Amroz TV of failing to respect “religious values” in particular after he broadcast music on 7 January 2009, the day of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, regarded by Shiites as the Third Imam.


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