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Journalist in Afghanistan freed after eight days, says he was arrested illegally

Nazari Paryani, the news editor of the daily Payman, has been released after eight days of detention in Kabul because of an allegedly blasphemous article that was published by mistake. Paryani was freed provisionally and still faces possible prosecution. Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has called for all charges to be dropped.

Exhausted by the ordeal, Paryani on Thursday told Paris-based RSF: “I was arrested illegally and in violation of all principles and national and international laws. The official at the Kabul prosecutor’s office in charge of the investigation entered our office with policemen and arrested me and six of my colleagues. They said they came on the orders of the president and the prosecutor.”

Paryani continued: “I was interrogated twice. The first day it was in the office of the person in charge of the investigation. I explained that as the person responsible for the news pages, I had nothing to do with this regrettable error. I think they understood but they kept me in detention. The next day, in the prison, they repeated their questions and I gave the same answers.”

He added: “They put me with common criminals. It was humiliating for me as a journalist to have been arrested illegally and put with criminals and delinquents. I was free on the orders of the president but I am still under judicial surveillance. And the case against the newspaper is still open.”

Date posted: January 23, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 375