Australian journalist: ‘Taliban detained me for doing my job’

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Australian journalist and author Lynne O’Donnell, who writes for Foreign Policy, on Wednesday said that the Islamic Emirate detained her when she was reporting from Kabul, forcing her to issue an apology on Twitter rather than face jail time.

“Tweet an apology or go to jail, said Taliban intelligence. Whatever it takes: They dictated. I tweeted. They didn’t like it. Deleted, edited, re-tweeted. Made video of me saying I wasn’t coerced. Re-did that too,” O’Donnell tweeted.

Lynne O’Donnell also stated in a report which was published by Foreign Policy that now she is out of Afghanistan and can “never go back.”

“I won’t be back in Afghanistan anymore. Neither will most other Western journalists, many of whom have also been harried, hassled, and hustled away this week. Afghanistan’s once-proud independent media is no more, and now there’s nobody else. The country is descending into a hellscape of terror, hunger, and poverty,” the report reads.

The Islamic Emirate commented:

“She was informed that she will be able to stay and operate in Afghanistan if she can produce evidence to substantiate any of the claims in her report. She was assured that in line with journalistic standards, she will not be required to reveal her sources but only details of victims or other circumstantial evidence that would allow the authorities to prosecute violators of Afghanistan’s law,” tweeted Abdul Qahar Balkhi, Foreign Ministry spokesman.

The deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate said O’Donnell was seeking intelligence goals and was banned from working in Afghanistan due to the making of “illegal” reports.

“She released propaganda and had intelligence goals; she is not allowed to operate in our country,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

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