February 2, 2023 12:39 am

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Facing Harassment, Top Journo Forced to Leave Afghanistan

“I left Kabul with a heavy heart” said Sapai

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In yet another incident of journalists fleeing Afghanistan, the head of Tolo News Khapalwak Sapai has left Kabul for an unknown destination abroad. This comes as a big blow to the call for a free press in Afghanistan as Sapai was one of the senior and most influential journalists in Afghanistan.

The information was shared by Sapai on his Twitter handle saying “I left Kabul with a heavy heart.” Restrictions imposed by the Taliban against a free press have deteriorated the condition of journalists. Journalists were subjected to harsh detention and severe torture in the past.

Sapai wrote on his Twitter handle that he has given decades of his life for the protection and advancement of free press and journalism in Afghanistan. He said that he was forced to leave Afghanistan as the situation had deteriorated substantially in the past few months and that he was not in a state to continue with his profession in the region.

Sapai further thanked all journalists in Afghanistan who are still continuing with their duties and wished them more power for them in the future.

Sapai was heading a prominent Afghan news daily Tolo news from the time the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021.

The Fourth Estate is at the receiving end in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Sapai has earlier been arrested by the Taliban in September 2022 along with Mehboob Stanakzai in Kabul. They have spent several hours in prison and all their belongings were confiscated by the Taliban authority. 

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.

Shubham Joshi
Shubham Joshi
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