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(From L to R) Dorothe Olieric, Mortaza Behboudi and Nicolas Auer receive the first price (Region Normandie des lyceens) during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Bayeux-Calvados Awards for war correspondents in Bayeux, northwestern France, on October 8, 2022. (Photo by Lou BENOIST / AFP)

Calls intensify for Franco-Afghan journalist’s release

AT News

KABUL: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for immediate and unconditional release of French-Afghan journalist Mortaza Behboudi who was arrested in Kabul and held since January.

“Five months of arbitrary detention and failure to respect criminal justice procedures… The Taliban authorities have produced absolutely no evidence to explain why they continue to hold Mortaza Behboudi, a journalist who is clearly paying for his professionalism. We call on the government in Kabul to close this absurd case once and for all by releasing him immediately,” said RSF in a statement.

Behboudi was arrested in Kabul on January when he returned to Kabul to write a report. Ever since he has been held at a Taliban intelligence agency detention on suspicion of “spying”, without any evidence been produced to support the charge.

A month after his unannounced arrest, RSF decided to make it public by organizing an appeal for his release signed by 25 French media outlets. A campaign for his release has been waged ever since, including a solidarity concert in April. RSF supports the “Twitterstorm” being organised today (7 June) to pressure the Taliban to finally recognise that they should not be holding Behboudi.

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