French-Afghan journalist
Photo: RSF Twitter

RSF calls for release of French-Afghan journalist a month after his arrest in Kabul

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and French media organisations have called for the release of photojournalist, Mortaza Behboudi, who was arrested a month ago by the Taliban in Kabul.

RSF said in a statement on Monday that Mortaza Behboudi was arrested on 7 January two days after arriving in Kabul for a reporting assignment. And a month of behind the scene efforts to get him freed had failed. “For the past month, we have done everything possible, in various capacities, to obtain his release. His imprisonment is truly absurd,” RSF said.

RSF said its assistance unit had received a call from Mortaza Behboudi’s mobile number on 15 January, but left no message and it is not known if the call was from the journalist or his captors. “All we know is that after being held in a Kabul for 11 days for not showing his accreditation, he was transferred to another prison in Kabul and is said to be accused of spying.” RSF added.

Behboudi, 28, began his career at the age of 16 in Afghanistan and was forced to flee to France when he was 21. He has freelanced for many French media outlets, co-authored reports, and contributed to a report entitled Young Afghan girls sold in order to survive.

Behboudi was awarded the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents last year for a report about life in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule.