Taliban arrests four journalists in Kunduz, releases three

The Afghanistan Journalist Center (AFJC) reported that the Taliban detained four journalists in Kunduz on Sunday, later releasing three but keeping local journalist Obaidullah Ahmadi in custody.

The AFJC demanded the “immediate and unconditional” release of Ahmadi and called on the Taliban’s intelligence directorate to respect media laws and end the suppression of media freedom and journalists.

According to the AFJC, Ahmadi was detained on Sunday morning by Taliban intelligence forces at the Sharwali Hotel in Kunduz. Imal Kakar, a reporter for TOLOnews and Pajhwok, and Atiqullah Rahimi, who were at the hotel to cover news, were also detained. Islam Sahibzada, a journalist for Killid radio station who was summoned by Taliban intelligence, was also detained. The statement noted that the four journalists underwent investigation by the Taliban, including checks of their phones, but three were released after three hours while Ahmadi remained in detention.

The AFJC noted from its sources that the Taliban accused Ahmadi of involvement in a report broadcasted by Amu TV Channel about a bridge in Aliabad district of Kunduz, destroyed during the republican era after being bombed by the Taliban.

The Taliban’s intelligence department and the department of information and culture in Kunduz have not commented on Ahmadi’s arrest, the AFJC added, urging the Taliban’s intelligence department to release Ahmadi immediately.