Authorities release French reporter Aziz Zemouri

New York, October 16, 2001—CPJ welcomes the release of Aziz Zemouri, French reporter for the weekly Figaro Magazine, whom Taliban officials detained and subsequently handed over to Pakistani authorities after he crossed into Afghanistan last week.

Zemouri was turned over to Pakistan’s border security forces at Ghulam Khan by Taliban authorities in North Waziristan Agency and arrested on October 11, according to the national daily Dawn. The reasons for his arrest in Pakistan were unclear, but local authorities transferred him to Peshawar for interrogation.

The next day, French foreign minister Hubert Védrine contacted his Pakistani counterpart, Abdul Sattar, and asked for Zemouri’s release.

Zemouri traveled to Islamabad today and is expected to return to France on the earliest possible flight.