Pajhwok Afghan News Reporter Abdul Hanan Mohammadi has been released by the Taliban from custody. The journo was detained by the Taliban intelligence agency earlier in June 2022.
Mohammadi was the Provincial Deputy head of the Federation of Independent Journalists Association (FIJA) and was arrested by Taliban intelligence agencies on 12th June 2022 while he was covering a ground report.
As per Pajhwok Afghan news, “Mohammadi during his telephonic talks with Pajhwok Afghan News confirmed his release. A statement from the FIJA also confirmed the release of Mohammadi.”
Mohammadi’s family members have also confirmed his release from Taliban custody to the media and said that Mohammad was released from Taliban custody on Friday afternoon(30th September 2022) and he has now returned to his family.
Earlier in June 2022, Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) in Kapisa had confirmed that Abdul Hanan Mohammadi, a local journalist and also the provincial deputy of AIJA along with one of his friends had disappeared in Hesa Awal district of Kapisa.
Life of Journalists in Afghanistan
The Fourth Estate has been at the receiving end in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
The Taliban has imposed strict restrictions on the press. Journalists are not allowed to take photographs or interview any person without the permission of the Taliban. Violation of these rules results in imprisonment and subsequent torture in the prison.
Earlier in September 2022, the Taliban had arrested two prominent journalists of Tolo News Khpalwak Sapai and Mehboob Stanakzai in Kabul.
According to a survey conducted by Reporters Without Borders, within one year of Taliban rule, Afghanistan has lost 39.59% of its media outlets and 59.86% of its journalists, the majority of them being women.
The survey showed that of the 11,857 journalists active in Afghanistan till 15th August 2021, there are only 4,759 present now. Women journalists have been impacted the most as 76.19% of them have lost their jobs.
The Taliban regime has imposed strict restrictions on freedom of press and has warned journalists of consequences if they report against the will of the regime.
A free press is critical to any democracy and is fundamental to a democratic society. Although the Taliban’s regime is authoritative, a free press is still important to circulate news, information, ideas, and opinions.
The press also provides the platform for a multiplicity of voices to be heard.
The international community needs to take immediate action to address the deteriorating state of freedom of the press in Afghanistan.