Saturday, April 20, 2024

Committee to Protect Journalists Calls on Taliban to Release Afghan Journalists

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Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahihttps://www.khaama.com
Nizamuddin Rezahi is a journalist and editor for Khaama Press. You may follow him @nizamrezahi on Twitter.

The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Taliban authorities to release Afghan journalists who are still behind the bars, following the release of two American nationals on Tuesday.

The Taliban released two Americans, including journalist and filmmaker Ivor Shearer who were detained in August in the capital Kabul. Neither the Taliban nor the U.S. Department of States identified the two Americans.

In response to news reports that the Taliban released two American nationals the Committee to Protect Journalists, a journalist advocacy organization based in New York issued a statement on Wednesday calling for the release of other Afghan journalists who remain behind bars.

“The continued detention of Afghan journalists underscores the dire situation of press freedom in Afghanistan, which has gone from bad to worse with an intensifying crackdown on the media in the past year,” CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Beh Lih Yi said.

Shearer and his Afghan colleague Faizullah Faizbaksh were arrested on August 17 while they were filming the scene of a U.S. drone strike that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri earlier in August in Kabul.

The release of the American filmmaker comes as the situation for journalists in Afghanistan has deteriorated since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021. Several male and female Afghan journalists have been detained, tortured, and threatened with death.

Meanwhile, due to the strict restrictions imposed by the interim regime on mass media and press freedom, a large number of private media outlets and news agencies closed their doors. Hundreds of journalists who served as photographers, filmmakers, videographers, and presenters in Afghanistan’s thriving media industry lost their jobs. Some left the country using legal or illegal paths others remained in the country desperately struggling for their safety and survival.

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