May 4, 2023
Jalalabad, Nangarhar province - The Afghanistan Journalists Center(AFJC) today welcomed the release of freelance sports reporter Khairullah Parhar after about four months in prison and called on Taliban authorities to immediately and unconditionally release another journalist in custody in Kabul.
A journalist from Jalalabad who asked to remain anonymous due to security concerns told that Parhar has been released on 'strict conditions' from the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul.
Khairullah Parhar a freelance sports reporter in Jalalabad capital of the eastern province of Nangarhar was detained by the General Directorate of Intelligence(GDI) in Kabul on January 9, 2023. On December 14, 2022, Parhar’s cell phone was confiscated by the GDI members at the cricket stadium in Jalalabad and he was summoned by the authorities to collect his phone in Kabul.
AFJC has documented a total of at least 213 press freedom violations including 70 arrests of journalists in Afghanistan since World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2022, out of which an Afghan-French reporter Mortaza Behboudi who was detained in Kabul on January 7, 2023, is still in prison.
AFJC said: “We welcome the release of Khairullah Parhar, but it is apparent that he should never have been arrested in the first place.” We call on the Islamic Emirate authorities to immediately and unconditionally release journalist Mortaza Behboudi, and to cease the use of force and ensure the freedom of the press in Afghanistan."