Journalists Detained at Scene of Alleged Civilian Deaths, Released



International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the release of three

reporters who were briefly detained by US-led NATO forces in Kunar province in

eastern Afghanistan.



to information received from IFJ affiliate the Afghan Independent Journalists’

Association (AIJA), Syed Abdullah Nezami of the Al Jazeera Arabic news channel

and Sadullah Sahil and Zabihullah of the Afghan TV News Service, were detained

on February 20 in a remote part of the province where a NATO air strike had

reportedly killed up to 50 civilians over the weekend.



reporters were investigating the event when they were taken in by NATO forces for

allegedly not carrying proper credentials. However, the AIJA has established

that all three had their identity cards at the time they were apprehended. They

were released two days later.


One of

the reporters revealed to the AIJA he has grounds to suspect those who arrested

him were actively seeking to suppress the truth about the alleged death of

civilians in the air strike.


“The IFJ joins

the AIJA in strongly deploring the effort to stop reporters from doing their

job and ascertaining the truth behind contested official claims”, IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.



deaths have been a sensitive issue in Afghanistan and we believe that a

free media that is able to report accurately and without fear will serve the

cause of peace and reconciliation”.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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