| 25 September 2022, Sunday |

U.N. urges Taliban to release information about missing journalists

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan demanded on Tuesday that the Taliban administration reveal information on the detention of two Afghan journalists who went missing the day before.

Bilal Karimi, a spokesperson for the Taliban government, said the men’s kidnapping was being investigated but that they had not been captured.

“Concerns are growing regarding media and free expression limitations. The UN calls on the Taliban to explain why they imprisoned these…reporters and to respect Afghan rights “According to a Tweet from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Ali Asghari, news manager at local broadcaster Ariana News, said that on Monday afternoon two of its journalists were taken, but the identity of the abductors was not clear.

Fears for the safety of vocal opponents of the Taliban and prominent women have risen since the Islamist group took over the country in August as foreign forces withdrew. Many civil society and women’s rights activists fled the country.

Also on Tuesday, the UN’s human rights spokesperson gave a briefing in Geneva expressing major concern over the disappearance of six people last month in connection with women’s rights protests.

“We are gravely concerned for their well-being and safety,” said U.N. human rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasan, adding there were other reports of other house searches of activists.

“These reports have also brought into focus what appears to be a pattern of arbitrary arrests and detentions.”

Another Taliban administration spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid rejected the UN human rights spokeswoman’s assessment, saying it was investigating the situation involving the abducted women.

The Taliban says they have an amnesty for any previous opponents, including Afghan military members, and that they respect women’s rights in line with Islamic law and customs, but many human rights advocates and foreign diplomats remain sceptical.

  • Reuters