Afghanistan: Journalist in Daikundi faces one-year prison sentence from Taliban court

The editor-in-chief of Radio Nasim, a local radio station in Daikundi province, central Afghanistan, Sultan Ali Jawadi, has been sentenced to one year in prison by a Taliban court, as reported by the Afghanistan Journalists Center on Tuesday.

According to the organization, Sultan Ali Jawadi should be released from the Taliban prison immediately, urging for his freedom. The statement quoted a local source, revealing that on Monday, December 11, the Taliban’s primary court in Daikundi summoned Jawadi and delivered the verdict against him.

Jawadi’s wife reportedly attended the private court session, where the sentence was announced, leading to his immediate transfer to prison. Although the Taliban has not officially commented on the matter, sources suggest that Jawadi faces charges of “propaganda” against the Taliban and “espionage for foreign countries.”

This is not the first instance of Radio Nasim’s reporters encountering trouble with the Taliban. Previously, Jawadi, along with Saifullah Rezaee and Mojtaba Qasemi, were summoned to Taliban intelligence in Daikundi in September. The charges against them included airing Radio Azadi programs and engaging in propaganda against the Taliban administration.

Despite being released after a brief detention, the three reporters were arrested again on October 7 by Taliban intelligence. Qasemi spent 11 days in detention, Rezaee 11 days, and Jawadi 17 days. The Afghanistan Journalists Center noted that the release of the journalists was facilitated after providing guarantees, but Jawadi has now been taken into custody once again.

The situation highlights the challenges faced by journalists in Afghanistan, particularly those operating in areas under Taliban influence, and raises concerns about press freedom and safety. The Afghanistan Journalists Center continues to advocate for Jawadi’s release.