RSF calls on the UN to help release Behboudi

International Federation of Journalists demand the immediate release of French-Afghan journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for the immediate release of French-Afghan journalist Mortaza Behboudi, who has been held captive by the Taliban since 7 January 2023.

“The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) join the appeal of its French affiliates and other media institutions in calling for the immediate release of Mortaza Behboudi,” the IFJ stated in a statement on Friday.

“The SNJ, SNJ-CGT, CFDT-Journalists, and SGJ-FO – members of the IFJ and EFJ – expect the French authorities to do everything possible to secure the immediate release of our colleague. The imprisonment of a journalist is an attack on the freedom of information and the right to be informed,” the IFJ added

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In addition, several international organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and 15 French media and production companies with which Mortaza Behboudi had worked, have also called for his release from Taliban captivity.

Mortaza Behboudi was arrested in Kabul just two days after he arrived in the city for a work assignment and has been accused of spying. His wife, Alexandra Mostovaja, said on Wednesday that her husband “has been working to humanise the migration journey for people all around the world and especially in Afghanistan. He is trying to shed light on all the difficulties that women face, and especially the Hazara people.

“They are accusing him of being a spy. We don’t have any news on how he is. I call for his release.”

The Taliban has not commented on his status.