Three journalists freed from Taliban custody, watchdog calls for immediate release of others

Three journalists who had been held in Taliban custody for several weeks were released on Saturday, according to the Afghanistan Journalist Center (AFJC).

The journalists were identified as Habibullah Sarab from Ariana News in Paktia province, Parwiz Sargand from Kunar province, and Shah Mahmood Hamdard from Afghanistan National TV in Uruzgan province.

The AFJC said in a statement on Saturday that these journalists had been detained by the Taliban’s intelligence directorate on August 10 and August 12, respectively.

They were released after three weeks in captivity, with conditions that included guarantees and compliance with the Taliban’s directive not to work with media organizations deemed banned by the group.

The AFJC, meanwhile, welcomed the release of these journalists while emphasizing that their detention had been illegal from the beginning.

The organization called on the Taliban to “immediately and unconditionally” release the remaining journalists still held in their custody, including Afghan-French journalist Mortaza Behboudi and Aminullah Alemi, the manager of Mumtaz Radio in Faryab province.