Photo: Tasnim News Agency

Taliban releases Iranian photojournalist after 6 days of captivity

The Taliban has released Iranian photojournalist Mohammad Hossein Velayati after six days in captivity, the Iranian Tasnim News Agency reported.

Velayati, who worked for the Iranian Tasnim News Agency, was arrested by Taliban authorities at Kabul airport on August 19. The reason for his arrest has not been made public.

The Iranian News Agency has stated that the Taliban handed Velayati over to the Iranian embassy in Kabul on Friday night. He has not yet returned to Iran, but it is hoped that he will be able to leave the country soon.

The Taliban have recently arrested several journalists and media workers in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) recently reported that the Taliban’s General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) detained at least 11 journalists and media workers in various provinces of Afghanistan in August.

The reason for the arrest of all these journalists is not clear, and Taliban officials have not said anything in this regard.

Mortaza Behboudi, an Afghanistan-born French journalist, has been detained by the Taliban since January 2023. He was detained two days after arriving in Kabul, despite mounting international condemnation and protests. Behboudi remains incommunicado in Taliban custody.