Afghan-American journalist Ali Latifi released after one day in detention

May 19, 2023

Kabul- Afghan-American journalist Ali Latifi has been released after one day in detention in Kabul. The Afghanistan Journalists Center welcomes his release but stresses that he should never have been detained in the first place.

 “It was all a misunderstanding; I was treated fine,” Ali Latifi tweeted today after being released from Kabul’s police detention center.

Khalid Zadran, the Taliban spokesperson for Kabul Police confirmed in a tweet that Ali Latifi was arrested in Kabul’s PD6 on Thursday night over “suspicious behavior.” Meanwhile, former president’Ashraf Ghani’s brother Hashmat Ghani in a tweet said that Ali Latifi was arrested last night three hours after leaving dinner at his home over “false allegations of drinking alcohol.” Ghani has said the allegations against Latifi are baseless.

AFJC said: “We welcome the release of Ali Latifi, but it is apparent that he should never have been arrested in the first place and assure ” We call on the 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."

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.