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TV reporter detained in Afghanistan, programme yanked off the air

Afghan television reporter Mohammad Nasir Fayyaz was detained one day after his television station aired a documentary that was critical of some cabinet members and their ministries, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The programme was cut short while being broadcast, apparently at the demand of the government, media reports said.

Afghan and foreign media reports said Fayyaz was detained by intelligence officials on Monday and released later that day. The BBC reported later that Fayyaz was detained again Tuesday after giving an interview to the BBC. CPJ is trying to confirm the BBC’s report.

“Reports of the detention of Mohammad Nasir Fayyaz and the shutdown of his documentary on corruption are disturbing,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator. “These kinds of heavy-handed tactics show that Afghanistan still has far to go in accepting the role of a critical press in an open society.”

Fayyaz’s program, “Haqiqat” (The Truth) airs on privately owned Ariana TV. Sunday’s programme specifically targeted Commerce Minister Mohammad Amin Farhang and Water and Energy Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan. Agence France-Presse quoted a government summary of Monday’s cabinet meeting in which the show was discussed—some ministers said they felt it was “insulting” and targeted officials “through baseless accusations and insults.”

Date posted: July 30, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 432