Radio station director detained in Jalalabad

November 28, 2022

Jalalabad, Nangarhar province- Taliban authorities should immediately and unconditionally release the head of Hamisha Bahar radio station Atal Stankzai, the Afghanistan Journalists Center said Monday.

Two journalists from Jalalabad, who asked to remain anonymous due to security concerns, told AFJC via messaging app Monday that Khairullah Parhar had been missing after traveling from Jalalabad to Kabul on January 8. A day earlier, Parhhar’s cell phone was being searched and sized by members of the General Directorate of Intelligence at Jalalabad cricket stadium; he was called by the GDI to collect his phone in Kabul, Sources added

According to the sources, the GDI or the provincial authorities have not explained why the journalist has been detained or where he was taken.

According to the AFJC’s annual report released in December 2022, press freedom in the country is rapidly fading. AFJC recorded a total of 260 violations including threats, detentions, and violent confrontations, which is a sharp 138% increase from 2021. Of the total number of events recorded in 2022, at least 119 journalists and media workers were temporarily detained for one to several hours and days and several months, the majority of which have been accompanied by physical and psychological violence, insults, and humiliation of detainees.

Among the detained journalists at least one journalist confirmed that still in prison. Qudratullah Tarar, a reporter for Zarghun TV from the southeastern city of Khost was arrested for his journalism work and critical posts on social media on November 11, 2022.

AFJC said:” We are gravely concerned that the whereabouts and the current situation of Khairullah Khairkhah and Qutratullah Tarar have not been disclosed to their families as of the time of the release of this statement – which constitutes a violation of their visitation right.

AFJC Said:” We call on the Islamic Emirate [Taliban] authorities to immediately and unconditionally release journalists Khairullah Tarar and Qutratullah Tarrar and to cease the use of force and ensure the freedom of the press in Afghanistan.”