Reporters Without Borders has condemned the Taliban’s “arbitrary” trial of Khaled Qaderi, a journalist in Herat province.

The report stated, “We condemn the arbitrary nature of these arrests and this conviction.”

Khalid Qaderi was detained by the group for publicly criticizing the Taliban, and the Taliban recently sentenced him to one year in prison through a military court.

This is the first instance in Afghanistan in 20 years that a journalist has been tried in a military court, which is intended to be confined for members of the armed forces only. The trial and punishment were both unfair and disproportionate. Qaderi was not represented by a lawyer and was even compelled to waive his right to appeal.

Complaints against journalists and media outlets in Afghanistan are supposed to be reviewed by a Media Offenses Verification Committee and can be brought to a court only if this commission determines to do so.

In addition, the organization issued an open letter to Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur on the state of human rights in Afghanistan, stating that it had yet to receive a response.

The letter, addressed to UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Richard Bennett, urged to take immediate action to protect journalists, freedom of expression, and the media.

Author

  • Saqalain Eqbal is an Online Editor for Khaama Press. He is a Law graduate from The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).