Posted October 17, 2005

Ezatullah Zawab, Pajhwok Afghan News and Meena


Zawab was arrested on September 2 in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Nangarhar province, after criticizing local government officials. Zawab is a staff correspondent for the independent news service Pajhwok Afghan News and editor of the monthly Meena magazine.

Local religious leaders demanded his arrest after he wrote an article in Meena accusing officials in the province’s information, tourism and religious affairs departments of incompetence, according to Pajhwok and the Afghan Independent Journalist Association (AIJA). AIJA said in a statement that the religious leaders considered the article to be an “insult.” Journalist unions and press freedom groups across the country held meetings to protest Zawab’s arrest.

Zawab was found unconscious by the side of the road one week later. He told the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) that unidentified gunmen from Jalalabad picked him up and held him blindfolded in a basement. He was threatened and interrogated before being released, he told AIJA.