The family of Mirwais Atal, a local journalist and director of Zema Radio in Kandahar, claim that he was detained by the Islamic Emirate forces on Saturday for unknown reasons and is still being held.
“My son is neither a criminal, nor a gunman, nor has he worked in the previous government. He is an ordinary person and a journalist, he should be released as soon as possible,” said Maria, mother of Mirwais Atal.
“My father is in prison, I ask them to release him because we are alone at home and have no one else at home,” said Emma, daughter of Mirwais Atal.
Meanwhile, media outlets have expressed concern over the recent arrests of journalists, saying that 16 media workers have been arrested in the past month.
“Over the past month, about sixteen media officials and journalists have been detained by the Islamic Emirate for interrogations or briefings,” said Jamil Weqar, head of the investigation committee of journalists.
“We call on the officials of the Islamic Emirate, if they have any kind of problem with the Afghan media, to solve it through legal channels, the Ministry of Information and Culture, and the Media Violations Commission, which is to be formed, to conduct media affairs through that channel…,” said Hujjatullah Mujaddidi, a leading member of the Federation of Journalists and Media of Afghanistan.
But the Islamic Emirate rejects the detention of journalists.
"If any action is taken toward a journalist or activity of a media outlet, there is no journalistic agenda behind it, there are other issues behind it," said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.
“If any journalist or media outlet says something in his or her work which does not have a news or journalistic aspect, there are other issues behind it,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.
Journalists, expressing concern over the recent arrests of media workers, called on the media and government officials to address their concerns.
“When a journalist is arrested, other journalists are frightened and cannot ask the authorities to report in the way they want,” said Abdullah Azizi, a reporter.
Previously, the International Federation of Journalists named Afghanistan as the deadliest country for journalists in 2021.
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