Security officials in Afghanistan dismissed reports of torturing a reporter in the northeastern Afghan province of Takhar while acknowledging that a reporter was detained for two days for interrogation on unwarranted storage of weapons at his place of residence.
The detention and questioning of a reporter in Takhar province have nothing to do with his work as a reporter, according to Bilal Karimi, the deputy spokesperson for the current administration’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, who said this on Saturday. Instead, he was arrested for keeping an unauthorized cache of weapons at his home.
A security official claimed in a tweet on Saturday, December 17, that it was “untrue” that a reporter from Takhar had been tortured, but pictures making the rounds on social media show the reporter’s leg bearing contusion marks and splotches of discoloration where blood had collected after blunt torture.
“The torture of a journalist in Takhar is not true. It is a fact that a journalist named Zabihullah, who illegally kept weapons and military equipment in his house, was detained by the security forces for questioning for two days,” Karimi stated on Twitter, sharing a picture of items alleged seized from Zabihullah’s house.
“His arrest is not related to his media activities.”
This occurs as reports of Zabihullah’s detention in domestic media outlets claim that he was taken into custody on December 9 and subjected to severe torture; authorities, however, deny that this occurred and confirm that Zabihullah was taken into custody for reasons unrelated to his media activity.