Four Afghan journalists arrested for broadcasting Taliban propaganda, intelligence agency took action –
Four Afghan journalists were arrested by the country’s intelligence agency as they returned to the city of Kandahar after reporting on a border area recently captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan. An Afghan press freedom group gave this information on Tuesday. The four had traveled to Spin Boldak to interview Taliban commanders after the militants occupied a border area with Pakistan. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry says the four are accused of spreading Taliban propaganda.
An Afghan media watchdog called Nai said he returned to Kandahar on Monday and was arrested by the National Directorate of Security. Barber said the whereabouts of the journalists were not known on Tuesday. The organization said that three reporters – Basimullah Watandost, Qudrat Sultani and Moheb Obaidy – work for the local radio station Mellat Jhag. The fourth is Sanaullah Siam, who is the cameraman of Xinhua News Agency.
Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesman with the Qatar-based rebels’ political office, condemned the arrests by the Afghan administration, saying the four were only doing their jobs, trying to cover up the incidents and bring out the facts. Barber said the arrest was illegal and demanded the immediate release of the journalists. Later on Tuesday, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Mirwaiz Stanikzai said the four had been accused of spreading enemy propaganda.
He stressed that the Kabul government was committed to freedom of expression, but cautioned that it would have to abide by the country’s constitution and laws. “Any propaganda to benefit terrorists and the enemy, as well as against the national interest of Afghanistan, will be counted as a crime,” Stanikzai said.
Reporters have to work in extremely difficult conditions in Afghanistan and often face violence, threats and threats. They are prevented from doing their job properly. There are more than 2,000 officially registered media organizations in the war-torn country.
According to the Afghan Journalists Protection Committee, there was a 26 percent increase in violence against journalists in the country in 2020 compared to 2019. The committee had registered 132 cases of violence against journalists and media personnel last year.
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