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Three Guardian journalists were abducted and released in Afghanistan

Three journalists, all on assignment for the Guardian, were abducted in December 2009 and released after six days, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has reported quoting the paper.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, an Iraqi, ad two unnamed Afghan journalists had been planning to interview militants in Afghanistan’s mountainous Kunar province near the border with Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province when they were abducted. The Guardian said it did not know if the abductors were attached to any specific group.

The paper said it had last heard by text message from Abdul-Ahad on December 9. “News of the abduction was not released in an attempt to ensure the safe return of all three journalists,” the paper said. “Their families and the relevant authorities in the UK and Afghanistan were kept informed.”

A spokesman for the Guardian said no further details of the incident were being released to avoid compromising the security of those involved.

“The events of recent weeks have highlighted the dangers to which journalists are exposed in Afghanistan,” Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said. “These reporters bravely do their job in the extreme conditions that prevail both in hard-to-control border regions and in the capital. We urge the Afghan authorities to investigate the abductions and the cases of violence in order to identify those responsible.”

Paris-based RSF said, “We again call for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety of journalists and we urge all parties to the fighting to finally implement the recommendations we made in the mission report we issued last March.”

In the most recent incident, Noorin TV journalist Nasto Naderi was attacked and badly beaten on December 16 by members of the security forces and was detained for several hours at his place of work.

Reporter Nasir Ahmad and cameraman Sibghatullah of the privately-owned TV station Sepehr were preparing a report in Kabul on December 3 when they were beaten and then abducted for several hours by gunmen acting on the orders of Abdolbassir Mahbobi, one of the leaders of the “Islamic Revolution Movement.” Their equipment was also damaged. Although a complaint was filed by the TV station and the two journalists, no measures have been taken against their assailants.

Date posted: December 16, 2009 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 107