The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the
unconditional release on June 4 of Afghan reporter Noorajan Bahir, who was
detained for two days without charge by US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan’s
However, the IFJ questions the manner in which Bahir was detained, and
the failure of coalition forces to provide an explanation or apology.
Bahir, a reporter for the independent Killid Media Group, was detained with
his two brothers during a search of their home late on June 2, according to the
Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA), an IFJ affiliate.
Coalition forces reportedly broke and destroyed several of the occupants’
belongings, including briefcases, and confiscated money (worth about USD2000)
before taking the three brothers to a military base near the eastern town of Khost, a BBC reporter
told the AIJA.
A statement issued by coalition forces on June 3 said the brothers were
detained due to an alleged association with Taliban commanders. However, NATO
forces requested that the coalition withdraw the statement, a local source told
AIJA members in the east and south of Afghanistan
issued statements condemning Bahir’s detention and demanding his immediate
“Aggressively entering the home of a journalist and
arresting him and his family without any evidence is totally unacceptable. We
strongly condemn such overwhelming and illegal detention,” AIJA President Rahimullah
“Journalists living and reporting in war zones show great courage
in gathering independent and impartial information to report all sides of a conflict.
Detentions of this kind, without adequate explanation, risk generating
unfounded suspicion about the media which could further endanger journalists’
lives,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director
Jacqueline Park said.
The IFJ joins the AIJA in calling on all parties in Afghanistan’s
conflict to respect the rights of journalists as civilians and to ensure their
safety and protection.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
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