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Afghan secret police take away website editor again

Afghan secret police have arrested journalist and blogger Kamran Mir Hazar, editor of the kabulpress.org website, for the second time in just over a month. As he left his office Thursday in the company of some colleagues, he was arrested by four men waiting outside. They identified themselves as members of the secret police and took him away, without saying why.

“Once again the authorities have targeted Hazar without giving any explanation,” Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said. “His arrest is illegal and he must be released at once.

Hazar was released on bail July 8 after being held for four days in Kabul by intelligence agents. The Afghan government’s intelligence services spokesman, Saeed Ansari, did not explain why he was arrested but said the case was still ongoing. Mohammad Asif Nang, the editor of the magazine Peace Jirga, was being held at the same time as was Hazar.

“Their detention is illegal,” RSF said at the time. “The intelligence agencies have not said what they are charged with. They should be released at once.”

Asif Nang, who is also the parliamentary affairs ministry spokesman, was arrested on July 1. It is thought he was being held for publishing an extract from a Canadian essay critical of President Hami Karzai and not, as initially reported, for suspected spying. Entitled “Wars and globalization: Who did 9/11 benefit?” the essay portrayed Karzai as a US puppet.

Hazar’s arrest on July 4 was apparently prompted by posts on his website (which claims to let Internet users express themselves “without censorship”) accusing senior Afghan officials of being spies. He also works for radio Salam Watandar.

Date posted: August 10, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 9