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Taliban releases local radio station manager after four months of detention

ANI | Updated: Oct 11, 2022 22:41 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], October 11 (ANI): Taliban released the former owner and editor of Radio Aftab, a local radio station in Daikundi province of central Afghanistan after keeping him under detention for four months, Khaama Press reported citing the Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC).
The former editor and owner of the radio outlet, Mirza Hasani was arrested by the Taliban forces in Herat province in north-eastern Afghanistan and was detained on suspicion of working as a reporter for the National Resistance Front (NRF) and was later transferred to prison.
According to the AFJC, the complaints of advocates for journalists' rights made it possible for Hasani to be released, Khaama Press reported.
"We (AFJC) also call on authorities to release Journalist Khalid Qadiri who was sentenced to one year in prison in May for allegedly spreading anti-Islamic Emirate propaganda and committing espionage for foreign media outlets, and urge them to ensure journalists can do their work without interference, fear, or reprisal," AFJC said.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15 last year, the war-ravaged country has lost 39.59 per cent of its media outlets and 59.86 per cent of its journalists, according to a recent report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Based on RSF's report, Afghanistan had 547 media outlets prior to 15 August 2021 but a year later, 219 ceased their activities.
As per the report, released by United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), human rights violations affected 173 journalists and media workers, 163 of which were attributed to the de facto authorities.
The ever-increasing restrictions against media in Afghanistan have also drawn widespread criticism globally with the United Nations (UN) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) decrying the arrests, demanding the Taliban stop harassing local journalists and stifling freedom of speech through continued detentions and threats.
According to UNAMA, there have been significant changes in the country's media landscape, including the closure of more than half of the free media, the evacuation of hundreds of journalists, and rising work restrictions, violence, and threats against journalists.
Apparently, over 70 per cent of media outlets halted their operations since the Taliban came to power. (ANI)