Four local journalists detained by security forces in Kandahar province

Bismillah Watandoost taking a selfie with a group of Taliban in Spin Boldak district in Southern Kandahar province on July 26, 2021(photo: BW Facebook)

July 26, 2021

Kandahar- Afghan authorities should cease their intimidation of the journalists and ensure that security forces permit the press to work freely, the Afghanistan Journalists Center said today.

AFJC provincial representative in Kandahar province Azizullah Popal says four local journalists in Kandahar, including Bismullah Watandoost, Qudratullah Sultani, and Mahbubullah Obaidi, from local “Mellat Zhagh” Radio station and freelance journalist Sanaullah Siyam, were detained by security forces after returning from Taliban-held areas in Spin Boldak district in the province on Monday morning.

The detained journalists met with Taliban leaders to investigate reports of mass disappearances, extra-judicial executions, etc in Taliban-controlled Spin Boldak district, popal added.

“We are very worried to learn over the arrest of the journalists and condemn the action as illegal and calling on the authorities to release them as soon as possible,” said Ahmad Quraishi, AFJC’ Executive director. “There is absolutely no justification for detaining journalists for interviewing Taliban and reporting from the Taliban-held areas.”

“If local authorities had any grievances or found the reports biased, they could pursue the issue via the Media Complaints Commission, not by illegally detaining the reporters,” AFJC urge local authorities to respect the Afghan Mass Media law and follow their complaint through the complaint commission,” Quraishi added