RSF speaks out over arrests and interrogations of Afghan journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday condemned the recent surge in arrests and interrogations of Afghan journalists by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) intelligence agency known as the “Istikhbarat” and the Ministry for Promoting Virtue and Suppressing Vice.
The RSF also said such actions violate Afghanistan’s press law, which came into effect in 2015, and which is, according to IEA spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, still valid.
RSF’s statement comes on the heels of the arrest and subsequent release of two Ariana News staff. Aslam Hijab and Waris Hassra were both arrested on Monday and held for 48 hours before being released unharmed.
According to RSF, since August 15, the day the IEA took control of Afghanistan, at least 50 journalists and media workers have been detained briefly or arrested by the police or Istikhbarat.
These arrests have lasted from several hours to nearly a week.
RSF stated that Istikhbarat has replaced the former republic’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) and while not just directly involved in arresting journalists, the agency is also believed to have made threatening phone calls and given out summonses for questioning in recent weeks.
Javad Sargar, the senior Istikhbarat official in charge of Department 53, which handles the media, recently horrified journalists by “inviting” them to stop covering certain subjects and stop asking certain journalists to participate in TV discussions, “if you don’t want me to rip your tongue out,” RSF reported.
“Threatening to rip out journalists’ tongues in order to prevent them from covering certain subjects is completely unacceptable,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk.
“Journalists must be able to practice their profession without being under a permanent threat of arrest and torture. These unlawful threats, which violate Afghanistan’s media legislation, are all the more horrifying for coming at a time of growing harassment and increasingly restrictive rules for the right to news and information,” he said.The post RSF speaks out over arrests and interrogations of Afghan journalists first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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