KABUL, Afghanistan — Two journalists, Ahmad Jawad Rasouli and Abdulhaq Hamidi, were arrested by Taliban intelligence in Kabul on Thursday, Jan. 18, the Afghanistan Journalists Center reported.
Rasouli, the owner, and Hamidi, the editor-in-chief of Gardesh-e-Itlaat, a local news agency established in July 2023, were summoned to the Taliban intelligence office on Wednesday, Jan. 17, and subsequently detained, according to relatives.
The Afghanistan Journalists Center noted that the Taliban intelligence department typically neither confirms nor denies the arrest or investigation of journalists. Furthermore, Taliban spokespersons and related institutions, including the Ministry of Information and Culture, have not commented on the matter.
Under the Law of Public Media, journalists are entitled to conduct their professional work without restriction or threats, and authorities are expected to support rather than impede them, the center emphasized.
However, despite the law stipulating that complaints against journalists and media should be addressed through the Media Complaints and Violations Commission, the Taliban’s commission has been effectively bypassed. The Taliban intelligence department’s arbitrary arrests have created a climate of fear among journalists.
The Afghanistan Journalists Center’s recent report highlighted 168 cases of violations against journalists’ rights in 2023, including 61 arrests.