Guess what? Sources in Baghlan said that the Taliban intelligence officials arrested three local journalists, Ghulam Ali Wahdat, reporter of private TV “Tanveer” and Safiullah Wafa and Noor Agha, reporters of RTA TV, the national television, in the province.
- According to the source, the journalists were arrested on Wednesday from their homes in Pul-e-Khumri city and are now in the custody of the Taliban intelligence directorate.
- The reason for the arrest of these journalists is unclear and local Taliban officials in Baghlan have not yet commented on the incident.
- The Taliban have arrested a large number of Afghans on various charges in recent days. In the latest case, the group has arrested a lecturer at Badakhshan University in the province.
Back story: Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, this group arrested and imprisoned dozens of journalists.
- Three weeks ago, Taliban intelligence directorate officials arrested Qudratullah Noori, a local journalist, from an area near his house in Jabal al-Saraj district of Parwan province.
- Earlier, Mortaza Behboudi, a Franco-Afghan journalist had been unduly detained in Kabul.
- Tolo News TV journalist Mohammad Yaar Majroh was released on February 19 after being held for six days but at least two other Afghan journalists continue to be held, in addition to Mortaza Behboudi. They are Qotratullah Tarar, arrested on November 11, and Khairullah Parhar, arrested on January 9, as per Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Zoom out: With Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, a large number of journalists have been forced to flee to neighbouring and European countries due to security issues.
- Taliban, by pressuring the media in Afghanistan, have made journalistic work difficult. Taliban have been trying to censor news and reports that contradict their theories. They have also imposed sanctions on journalists and some reporters have fled due to security threats.
- In fact, Nai had stated that violence against journalists has increased under the Taliban regime and at least 30 cases of violence against journalists has been recorded in less than three months of this year. It stressed that media activity and pursuing journalism in Afghanistan is becoming difficult every day.
- “Many media outlets have closed their operations due to existing challenges and economic problems, and hundreds of journalists have become unemployed or left the country,” Nai added.