Mortaza Behboudi via X

Mortaza Behboudi, Franco-Afghan journalist, Released from Taliban Custody

Mortaza Behboudi, a Franco-Afghan journalist, has been released from Taliban custody after more than nine months, sources confirmed to KabulNow.

Behboudi was released on bail from Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul on Wednesday, October 18.

He was arrested by the Taliban authorities on 7 January 2023, two days after arriving in Afghanistan for the purpose of reporting. Taliban had accused him of “spying”.

Behboudi’s wife, Alexandra Mostovaja, expressed the joy in a post on X: “With Mortaza’s release, light has come back to my world and life can begin again. I am grateful for all the support and for being able to witness how Mortaza’s beautiful character has been illuminated through the darkest of times. No one should ever go through this ever again!”

Behboudi’s arrest had stirred widespread condemnation and outrage, including from Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

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 Taliban rule.