Photo: Freedom Network via Twitter

Pakistani media watchdog calls for investigation into detention of Afghan journalists

Freedom Network, a media watchdog defending and supporting press freedom in Pakistan, has demanded an investigation into the alleged detention and extortion of “exiled journalists from Afghanistan” in the country.

In a tweet on Saturday, the organization said: “Press Freedom Pakistan demands an investigation into allegations that Islamabad police are picking up exiled Afghan journalists to demand payment for their release. Another Afghan journalist, Tahir Sadeed, was reportedly picked up from the B17 residential district.”

Specific details regarding Mr. Sadeed’s arrest, the exact number of journalists detained by Pakistani police, and the amount of bribes extorted have not been disclosed by the media support organization.

On Friday, a family member of Tahir Sadeed confirmed his detention to KabulNow. He was reportedly released after a few hours of detention.

Following the Taliban’s assumption of power in Afghanistan in August 2021, thousands of journalists, human rights activists, and former government officials were forced to seek refuge in Pakistan. While some have been resettled in Western countries, many remain in a state of uncertainty, awaiting the processing of their applications.

Over the past few months, Pakistani police have arrested hundreds of citizens of Afghanistan in various cities across the country, some of whom have been deported back to Afghanistan.