KABUL: The detention of two journalists of Ariana TV channel faced strong reactions of the human rights and media warthogs.
The Free Speech Hub, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, and Amnesty International, as well as UNAMA, have called on the Islamic Emirate to probe the cases of Aslam Hejab and Waris Hasrat.
The Free Speech Hub in a statement said the two reporters–Aslam Hejab and Waris Hasrat–were arrested by Islamic Emirate forces on Monday and so far the reasons behind their arrest are not known.
The statement added that the whereabouts of the two reporters are tentative. “The Free Speech Hub wants the Taliban to immediately release these two reporters and stop cracking down on freedom of expression,” the statement cited.
Amnesty International on Tuesday called the arrest of the two journalists “unjustifiable” and urged the Islamic Emirate to release them.
“Such escalating attacks on media freedom are a grave threat to the right to freedom of expression. The Taliban must unconditionally and immediately release them,” Amnesty International said on Twitter.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also in reaction to the arrest of the journalists called on the Islamic Emirate to make clear the status of the journalists and why they were detained give information over the whereabouts of women activists who went missing two weeks ago.
“Mounting concern about restriction on media and free expression. UN urges Taliban to make public why they detained these Ariana News reporters and to respect Afghan’s rights,” UNAMA tweeted.
The Islamic Emirate downplays the issue, saying that it is yet to be clear whether the two journalists are detained or not.
“We heard about the two journalists, investigations have already started about these two journalists and whether they have been detained or not. The issue is not completely clear yet,” Islamic Emirate’s Deputy Spokesman Bilal Karimi said.
Based on media reports over 70 percent of the media organizations have halted operations since the Islamic Emirate swept into power.