Afghan Authorities Arrest Four Journalists On Charges Of Spreading Propaganda
Afghan authorities have arrested four journalists who entered Spin Boldak in the southern province of Kandahar on charges of spreading propaganda.
According to the details, clashes continue between security forces and Taliban fighters in Spin Boldak.
The move by Afghan officials has drawn strong criticism from the media and NGO representatives, although the government has said it wants to make sure reporters are safe.
The Afghan Interior Ministry said all detained journalists had been barred from entering the area but ignored the agency’s warning.
Of the four journalists arrested, three work for local radio and one for local television, he said.
Hamid Roshan, the deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the NDS did not allow journalists to enter the area because security forces wanted to save their lives.
Another Interior Ministry spokesman later said that the journalists had been arrested for “propaganda” and that security agencies were investigating.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai said the government respects freedom of expression in Afghanistan and is committed to it, but any propaganda against the country’s interests with terrorists and the enemy is a crime.
Local media representatives say the country’s ability to report on conflicts is increasingly being hampered, and the international rights group Amnesty International has demanded the release of the four journalists.
“We are concerned about the detention of four journalists in Kandahar by the National Security Directorate,” Amnesty International said on the social networking site Twitter.
Mujib Khalwatgar, head of the Afghan media rights group NAI, said there had been an increase in violence against journalists since Washington announced the withdrawal of US troops by September.
“We expect the government to support freedom of expression,” he said.
“If the government does the same (arrests) and wants to ban the media, we will lose the greatest success,” he said.
Clashes continue between Taliban fighters and Afghan forces to retake control of Spin Boldak, an area bordering Pakistan.
Spain Boldak. Chaman Border Crossing is an economic lifeline for southern Afghanistan.
Afghanistan relies heavily on this important trade border and exports agricultural commodities, including almonds and dried fruits, while the crossing is also used to ship manufactured goods from Pakistan to Afghanistan.
Occupying the border will make the Taliban economically stable and allow them to collect taxes from the thousands of vehicles that pass through here daily.
The border was closed in recent days, leaving about 2,000 Afghans stranded in Pakistan.
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