Two journalists were temporarily imprisoned by National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Khost province for criticizing President Ashraf Ghani.
Abdul Rahim Sikandar, Salam Watandar Radio local Journalist in Khost and Habib Kamran, Sahar News Journalist in the province claimed that they have been detained by NDS.
Mr. Sikandar says to Nai Media Watch through an interview; “On Monday, 2nd, September 2019 at 3:30 pm when I was leaving an official session at Khost province, I and Habib Kamran were handcuffed in Provincial Governance Compound, our eyes were tied up and we were transferred to police’s ranger, then to the National Directorate of Security.” Sikandar continued, “They took us to the detention center, seized all equipment including a cellphone and a recorder and threw us among the prisoners.” Thence, this news broke on social media, we were released from the detention center and taken to the provincial Directorate of Security, NDS.”
Sikandar said: “We clarified it to the Head of National Directorate of Security that whatever we write on Facebook pages doesn’t mean to destroy the system but it is criticism of government’s inaction, in specific the president Ghani. The head of National Directorate of Security emphasized that you are trying to destroy the system and verbally harass the president.”
The journalists were released right after three hours of arrestment.
Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan considered the arrestment of two local journalists in Khost province a matter of concern and believes that such treatments can seriously damage freedom of expression. Nai asks the Central National Directorate of Security to investigate the issue and make it clear to the media and journalists.
Nai considers the arrestment of the journalists out of law and asks the National Directorate of Security to clarify it. Nai asks the government to support freedom of expression based on the current laws rather than suffocating journalists by temporarily detaining for healthy and productive criticism.