Media watchdogs call for answers on missing journalists, writer

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The disappearance of two journalists and a writer within the past several days has faced reactions from media watchdogs.

Ali Akbar Khairkhwa, a journalist of Subh-e-Kabul newspaper, Jamaluddin Deldar, head of the Paktia Voice radio station, as well as Omaduddin Dawran, a Pashto writer, have disappeared over the past several days. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said it has launched investigations.

The mother of Ali Akbar Khairkhwa said that her son disappeared six days ago. “I can’t sleep during the night and I walk in the yard,” she said.

“I have referred to the governmental organizations … but nobody has helped us,” said Hassan, brother of Ali Akbar. “The Taliban denied that they have arrested Mr. Khairkhwa but we have seen that several journalists have been detained by the Taliban; there is an expectation that Mr. Khairkhwa may have also been arrested by the Taliban,” said Abdul Razaq Ikhtiar Big, a journalist of Subh-e-Kabul.

The family of Deldar, head of Gardiz voice radio station, said that Deldar was arrested by the Islamic Emirate’s forces on Tuesday.

“We have n o information about him, about why he was arrested or where he is now,” said Sadiqullah, cousin of Deldar. “He was arrested by the forces of the Islamic Emirate and he is still in their custody,” said Islamuddin Sanjar, head of the Gardiz Voice radio station.

Meanwhile, media watchdogs expressed concerns over the disappearance of journalists. “The government is responsible to provide security for journalists and the media and it has to respond in such cases,” said Abdul Mutalib Faraji, head of the Free Speech Hub.

This comes as reports of the disappearance of Omaduddin Dawran, a Pashto poet and writer, have been circulating on social media. However, his family has yet to comment on this. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior said it has launched an investigation into the cases of missing journalists.

“The issues which you have mentioned are under investigation. Whenever the investigation is finished, we will share it with you,” said Abdul Nafay Takor, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. Based on the available numbers, more than 140 cases of violence against journalists have been registered over the past nine months.—Tolo News

 

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