CPJ welcomes the release of two radio reporters

New York, July 11, 2005—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes yesterday’s release of two radio journalists from Afghan government custody in Kabul. Intelligence officers did not clarify the reasons behind the detention for more than a week of Rohullah Anwari and Shershah Hamdard, both reporters for the U.S.-government funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

Intelligence officers arrested Anwari, a reporter based in eastern Afghanistan’s Konar Province, and Hamdard, who is based in Jalalabad, while they were covering the aftermath of the crash of a U.S. military helicopter that was shot down on June 28. Anwari was arrested on July 1 and Hamdard on July 2 in the provincial capital, Asa’ad Abad.

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined local media groups last week in protesting the detention of the two journalists.

Mohamed Amin Mudaqiq, Kabul bureau chief of RFE/RL, told Agence France-Presse that intelligence officers gave no reason for arresting the journalists.

“We welcome the release of our colleagues, who seem to have been arrested simply for doing their jobs,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said.