Photo: RSF

RSF installs time counter in Paris for the release of journalist Mortaza Behboudi from Taliban custody

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has installed a time counter in Paris, as part of their ongoing efforts for the release of Afghanistan-born French journalist, Mortaza Behboudi, from Taliban custody.

According to a statement released by RSF on Thursday, the giant counter installed on the façade of the Paris-Center town hall on Thursday shows the number of days, hours, and minutes that Behboudi has been held.

Several individuals delivered speeches at the event, including Paris mayor Ariel Weil, his deputy Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, Behboudi’s wife Aleksandra Mostovaja, and RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire, stressing the need to step up the campaign for Behboudi’s release.

“It is a sad anniversary that we are observing today, one marking journalist Mortaza Behboudi’s completion of six months in arbitrary detention. Every minute this reporter spends in a prison cell is one too many,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire stated at the event.

“We keep discussion channels open with them. This absurd situation has lasted far too long. Now is the time for Mortaza to be freed,” he added.

Behboudi, 29, a freelance journalist who has worked for international media outlets, was detained on January 7, 2023, two days after arriving in Kabul. The Taliban has accused him of spying but has not produced any evidence to support this claim.

Despite numerous appeals from various media outlets and human rights organizations, the group has not taken any action or provided any statement regarding his status.