Human rights organisations raise concerns over two TV reporters detained in Afghanistan


Kabul [Afghanistan]: The European Union, Amnesty International and UNAMA have called upon the Taliban to provide information about the case of two Ariana News reporters arrested on Monday.

The Free Speech Hub, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, in a statement said that the two reporters–Aslam Hejab and Waris Hasrat–were arrested by the Taliban on Monday and so far the reasons for their arrest remain unknown.
“The Free Speech Hub wants the Taliban to immediately release these two reporters and stop cracking down on freedom of expression,” the statement cited by Tolo News reported.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International said that the arrest of the two journalists was “unjustifiable” and called on the Islamic Emirate to release them.

“Such escalating attacks on media freedom are a grave threat to the right to freedom of expression. The Taliban must unconditionally and immediately release them,” Amnesty International said in a tweet.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also reacted to the arrest of the two reporters and called on the Islamic Emirate to make clear why it has arrested them and also make clear the whereabouts of women activists who went missing two weeks ago.

“Mounting concern about the restriction on media and free expression. UN urges Taliban to make public why they detained these Ariana News reporters and to respect Afghan’s rights,” UNAMA tweeted.

The EU ambassador to Afghanistan, Andreas von Brandt, also reacted to the arrest of the journalists. “Still hard to grasp why those you claim to work for justice and better governance don’t respect journalists working to improve transparency, governance and justice in Afghanistan,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the data from 15 Afghan media outlets revealed that the number of women journalists associated with them has declined by 50 per cent and the media outlets were downsized since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last August.

Pajhwok Afghan News collected the data over the past 20 days from 15 print and electronic media outlets. The data was obtained from Aryana TV, Zwandon TV, Tamadon TV, Aryana News, Aina TV, Arzo TV, Noor TV, China Centre, Rahi Farda TV, Ghazal TV, Aryana Radio, Sar Ahang, Ghazal, Daily Anis and Paik-i-Aftab News Agency. (image-instagram)

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