August 9, 2023
Ghazni, Ghazni province- A local journalist Sayed Wahdatullah Abdali arrested in southern Ghazni province and has been in custody for the past three days. The Afghanistan Journalists Center condemns Abdali’s detention and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
A journalist from Ghazni city in the Southern Ghazni province who asked to remain anonymous due to security concerns, said:” Sayed Wahdatullah Abdali was arrested from his home in Qala-e-Naw village in Khaja Omari district, on August 6 around 6 pm.” “ Abdali was detained along with several others from the same village two days after the killing of a local Taliban official by unknown individuals in Khaja Omari district”
The provincial authorities have not explained why the journalist has been detained or where he was taken.
Sayed Wahdatullah Abdali, 35, has been an active reporter for the state-run Bakhtar News Agency for 15 years, serving during both the republic government’s tenure and the Taliban’s rule.
AFJC said:” We are gravely concerned that the whereabouts and the current situation of Sayed Wahdatullah Abdali 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 journalist Sayed Wahdatullah Abdali and to cease the use of force and to allow journalists and media workers to do their job without fear of arrests, threats, or attacks.”
The Taliban has conducted a continuous campaign of crackdowns on media outlets and journalists since returning to power in August 2021. AFJC has documented at least 319 cases of violence against journalists and media, including 160 arrests between August 2021 to March 2023.
At least four journalists including Afghan-French reporter Murteza Behboudi, two local reporters that -remain anonymous due to security concerns- and Aminullah Alemi, head of Mumtaz Radio station in Northern Fariab province remain behind bars as of August 9.