Pajhwok reporter detained in Qalat

Kabul,June 12, 2011

Afghanistan Journalists Center is condemning illegal detention of a local reporter in the southern Zabul province and asks for his immediate release.

Bismillah Pashtunmal, was detained by the police after he was summoned by the provincial chief prosecutor Abdul Hadi Hamkar to give explanation about a recent story he reported to the Pajhwok Afghan New on jawza21, according to a report by the agency.

The prosecutor ordered police to put the journalist in detention after he arrived to his office, the report added.

Javid Hamim, regional editor of the agency, told AFJC the reporter was called to the prosecutor’s office in regard to a story published last week citing sources inside the prosecutor’s office about his dismissal by Kabul ‘due to complaints of people and corruption’.

Hamim said: “If he had any grievances or found the report biased, he could pursue the issue via the Media Complaints and Breaches Commission, not by illegally detaining our reporter.”

The Center to Support Journalists considers this act by the provincial official of Zabul as illegal done in an irresponsible manner.

AFJC is calling the central government of Afghanistan to not allow local officials intimidate local journalists.

Afghanistan has been one of the most dangerous places for journalists who are increasing vulnerable to threats and intimidations by local warlords, insurgents and local forces.