Kabul: A local journalist has recently gone missing in Zabul province following his return from a trip to Iran. Reports have emerged suggesting that the Taliban may have arrested him, although authorities have denied these allegations.
Reza Shaheer, a reporter affiliated with Rah-e-Farda TV channel, is believed to have been detained and transported to an undisclosed location. It is worth noting that Shaheer had previously faced detainment by the Taliban, prompting his decision to travel to Iran in order to apply for a French visa. Regrettably, upon his return from Iran, he was purportedly arrested once again in the Shah Joye area of Zabul province, along the Kabul-Herat highway, before being transferred to an undisclosed location.
The Taliban have categorically refuted claims of their involvement in Shaheer’s arrest. Nevertheless, reports indicate that the Taliban’s intelligence apparatus may be responsible for his detention. This incident follows a series of instances where local and international journalists and media personnel were detained, despite public denials by the authorities.
Zakria Hassani, a journalist and former colleague of Reza Shaheer, shared on his Facebook page a statement from a family member affirming that Shaheer had been apprehended by Taliban authorities for the third time. According to Mr. Hassani, Shaheer had just returned from Iran due to the expiration of his visa. While en route to Kabul, he was detained by Taliban officials in Zabul province.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Journalists’ Support Organization, an entity dedicated to assisting Afghan journalists, has confirmed the news of Reza Shaheer’s arrest and has called for his immediate release.