Heads of three media outlets and a journalist arrested in Khost

Heads of three media outlets and a journalist were arrested by Taliban in Khost province for the programs they aired over Eid ul-Fitr late last month, sources said.

Afghanistan Journalists Center confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that Sakhi Sarwar Miakhil, editor-in-chief of Gharghasht Radio and TV, Mohammaduddin Shah Khiyali, editor-in-chief of Radio Wolas, Pamir Andish, editor-in-chief of Radio Chinar and Abdul Rahman Ashna, a reporter for Radio Nan, have been arrested by the Taliban.

Taliban’s head of information and culture in Khost said the individuals “were not arrested” but were summoned in order to share “important matters”.

Pamir Andish has a master’s degree from Haidar Abad University in India and has worked in Afghanistan’s media for the past 12 years, including at the National Radio and Television.

Sakhi Sarwar Miakhil who is a resident of Miakhil village on the outskirts of Khost city, the center of Khost province, is the former chairperson of National TV in Khost province. He has a master’s degree in journalism from Germany.

He is founder and editor-in-chief of Gharghasht TV in Khost, which is the first private TV network in the eastern province.

Abdul Rahman Ashna who is from Logar province has graduated from journalism at Shaikh Zahid University in Khost. He has worked in the media for the past 10 years. He first started his career at Zwan Radio station.

Mohammaduddin Shah Khiyali is a Khost resident and has worked for Radio Wolas Ghag for the past 16 years. Khiyali is also editor-in-chief of Radio Zarghoon and Radio Yun in Khost province.

Nangarhar journalist freed

The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) last week welcomed the release of freelance sports reporter Khairullah Parhar who had been in Taliban custody for about four months. The AFJC also called on Taliban authorities to immediately and unconditionally release another journalist in custody in Kabul.

AFJC reported that Parhar had been released from Pul-e-Charkhi prison on “strict conditions”. He was detained by the Taliban’s general directorate of intelligence in Kabul on January 9, 2023.

On December 14, 2022, Parhar’s cell phone was confiscated by the intelligence unit at the cricket stadium in Jalalabad and he was summoned by the Taliban to collect his phone in Kabul.

AFJC has documented a total of at least 213 press freedom violations including 70 arrests of journalists in Afghanistan since World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2022, out of which an Afghan-French reporter Mortaza Behboudi who was detained in Kabul on January 7, 2023, is still in prison.