AFJC Condemns the GDI Torture of Journalist in Takhar province

Zabihullah Noori says he was arrested by the Islamic Emirate/Taliban “on charges of being a journalist”

December 16, 2022

Taliqan,Takhar province: The Afghanistan Journalists Center condemns last week's arrest and torture of Zabihullah Noori, a journalist of Takharistan Radio in the northeastern province of Takhar.

Zabihullah Noori was detained by the General Directorate of Intelligence(GDI) during a raid at his house in the first district of Taliqan, the provincial capital of Takhar province at around 10 am on December 9, a source in the area told the AFJC, “They assaulted Zabihullah Noori and his family and searched his home for unspecified charges. They kept him and his brother in illegal detention at GDI’s detention center in Taliqan for two nights.”

In a video a copy of which was obtained by AFJC, Noori says he was arrested by the Taliban “on charges of being a journalist” on Friday, December 9. “They tortured me a lot. You can see the signs on my legs… I am not in a good physical and mental status,” he said in the video which his colleagues confirmed. According to the AFJC source, Noori fled Afghanistan to a neighboring country due safety concern.

The spokesperson for the Islamic Emirate governor in Takhar Mohebullah Nikzad said Noori’s arrest had nothing to do with his "journalistic work," and he was detained for a "criminal misconduct." The spokesman did not elaborate.

According to the AFJC report on the status of press freedom during a year of Taliban rule published in August, at least 130 media workers have been arrested by the Islamic Emirate Police or the General Directorate of Intelligence(GDI). The arrests, often accompanied by violence, have lasted from several hours to nearly a week or even months.

AFJC Said:” The arbitrary detainment and torture of Takharistan Radio journalist Zabihullah Noori is a grave violation of press freedom and his release is a welcome development, AFJC urges the Islamic Emirate to immediately free journalist Khalid Qaderi who has been in custody for a Facebook post since his arrest in March.” Authorities must never violate journalists’ rights, but they must also proactively make sure journalists' rights are upheld and fulfilled."

The AFJC calls on the de facto authorities to fulfill their commitment to supporting press freedom by fully implementing the mass media and access to information laws, and creating a safe working environment for media, free of fears and intimidation.