The release of Mortaza Behboudi, a Franco-Afghan journalist, by the current government sparked domestic and foreign reactions.
Organizations supporting the media in the country welcomed the release of Mortaza Behboudi, and said they consider it a positive step by the Islamic Emirate.
UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett and Amnesty International welcomed the release of Mortaza Behboudi and called for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights defender Rasoul Parsi, Matiullah Wesa, founder of the PenPath campaign and advocate for girls' education, and the women’s rights activists Neda Parwani and Zholia Parsi.
UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett said on X: “Very welcome albeit overdue news that Mortaza Behboudi has been released at last. I hope that now he and his family will enjoy some peaceful time together.”
“The Taliban court order to release Afghan French journalist Mortaza Behboudi is a positive step. He should not have been arbitrarily detained for 9 months in the first place. Amnesty International calls on the Taliban de-facto authorities for immediate and unconditional release of education activist Matiullah Wesa, university lecturer and human rights defender Rasool Parsi, women protestors Neda Parwani and Zholia Parsi and all others who have been arbitrary arrested for criticizing the Taliban policies and speaking up for human rights,” Amnesty International said on X.
UNAMA News wrote on X that “UNAMA welcomes the release of journalist Mortaza Behboudi, detained by Afghanistan’s de facto authorities since January this year. We continue to actively engage and advocate with the de facto authorities for the protection of media and an end to arbitrary detentions.”
According to the statement of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Behboudi, who is a journalist, was arrested on January 7 in Afghanistan and was released from Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul on October 18.
"The Kabul criminal court's decision to release journalist Mortaza Behboudi is of course a huge relief for his wife Alexandra, for his friends and colleagues, and for all defenders of press freedom. It is the end of a painful ordeal and of constant worry for more than nine months. I would like to thank the entire support committee, and in particular Solène Chalvon-Fioriti, Rachida El Azzouzi and Antoine Bernard for their coordination. After nine months of daily campaigning for his release, RSF is now working to ensure that Mortaza is reunited with his wife and her family in Paris in the next few days,” Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of RSF said.
“We ask the Islamic Emirate to pay more attention to media activities, because media is the mirror of the government, and it can reveal the dark angles of the government,” said Ahad Tanha, a journalist.
“As a journalist I ask the Islamic Emirate to address the media issues through the Commission on Media Violation (CMV),” said Mohammad Mohammadi, a journalist.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan National Journalists Union (ANJU) emphasized the need to support journalists, saying that media violations should be solved through legal means.
“Whenever a law is violated by the media society, and a journalist violates a law and does not follow the rules and regulations, it is necessary that when the security agencies arrest the journalist, they should share all the details with the media,” said Masroor Lutfi, a member of ANJU.
However, the Islamic Emirate said that journalists are arrested due to intelligence events.
“Some events are not journalistic events, they have intelligence aspects or there some other accusations. Sometimes journalists have been detained and they have been released later or they have been punished,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, the Islamic Emirate’s spokesman.