Afghanistan International has accessed documents that show that the leader of the Taliban has ordered the group's cabinet to assess the plan to shut down access to Facebook in Afghanistan.
In a decree attributed to the Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, it has been stated that the Taliban’s Supreme Court should prepare this plan in coordination with the relevant Taliban agencies and submit it to the cabinet.
On June 16, the Administrative Office of the Taliban’s Prime Minister referred the decree of the Taliban leader to the group’s supreme court regarding the removal of access to Facebook in Afghanistan.
According to the letter from the Administrative Office of the Taliban’s Prime Minister, the decree of the Taliban leader said, "You [Supreme Court] should prepare a plan to limit or ban Facebook in coordination with the relevant departments."
The decree also asked relevant bodies to assess the financial costs associated with this plan.
In response to a question about the authenticity of this letter, Mohajer Farahi, Taliban’s Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, on Monday said that no decree has been issued regarding shutting down access to Facebook, but there are discussions around the issue.
Earlier, the New York Times had reported that Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is gathering information and considering a plan to block the user accounts of Taliban members on WhatsApp.
The New York Times called WhatsApp the "backbone" of the Taliban's communication system.
Since taking power in Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban has imposed restrictions on access to international media, such as the BBC and Voice of America in Afghanistan. The group has also banned domestic media from broadcasting entertainment programmes such as soap operas and movies.