February 19, 2023
Kandahar - The Afghanistan Journalists Center(AFJC) today welcomes the release of Tolonews journalist Mohammadyar Majrooh in Kandahar but condemns his arrest and five-day detention as a press freedom violation. We also call on authorities to release all other journalists who are still in prison in the country because of their journalism work.
On February 15, Mohammadyar Majrooh, a reporter for the privately owned Tolonews TV in Kandahar was summoned by the General Directorate of Intelligence(GDI) in the province for interrogation and never returned home, a journalist in Kandahar who spoke to AFJC on the condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal.
The GDI or the provincial authorities have not explained why the journalist has been detained or where he was taken, but a journalist familiar with the case said Mohammadyar was released on “some conditions”.
AFJC said: “We welcome the release of Mohammadyar Majrooh, but it is apparent that he should never have been arrested in the first place.” We call on the Islamic Emirate[Taliban] authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all other journalists currently in detention, and ensure journalists can do their work without interference, fear, or reprisal.”
AFJC has identified that at least nine journalists and media workers have been arrested during the last three months due to their journalistic activities. Among them, Qudratullah Tarar, a reporter for Zarghun TV in Khost arrested on November 11 in Khost, Afghan-French journalist Mortaza Behboudi in Kabul on January 7, and Khairullah Parhar a sports journalist in Jalalabad who was arrested on January 9 are still in prison.