Taliban security personnel sit atop a military vehicle as they celebrate the second anniversary of their takeover in Kandahar on August 15, 2023. Taliban provincial intelligence officers summoned Abdul Rahim Mohammadi, a reporter for Tamadon TV, on December 4, after which he disappeared, according to a journalist familiar with his case. (Photo: AFP/Sanaullah Seiam)

Taliban intelligence forces detain Afghan journalist Abdul Rahim Mohammadi

New York, December 12, 2023—The Taliban must immediately and unconditionally release journalist Abdul Rahim Mohammadi and stop detaining and intimidating members of the press in Afghanistan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.

On December 4, Mohammadi, a reporter for the independent broadcaster Tamadon TV, responded to a summons by Taliban provincial intelligence officers in the southern city of Kandahar and has not been heard from since, according to local media support group the Afghanistan Journalists’ Center and an Afghan journalist familiar with his case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, due to fear of Taliban retaliation.

As of Tuesday, CPJ could not determine why the journalist was summoned, the reason for his detention, or his whereabouts.

“The Taliban must immediately release Afghan journalist Abdul Rahim Mohammadi and end the intimidation and detention of journalists in Afghanistan,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Beh Lih Yi. “After more than two years in power, the Taliban and its intelligence agency continues to crack down on Afghan journalists on a daily basis, hampering reporting and the free flow of information.”

Mohammadi, who has been working as a journalist for 10 years, reports on local current affairs in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city. In February, armed Taliban members raided the headquarters of Tamadon TV in the capital, Kabul, beat several staff members, and held them for a half hour.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told CPJ that he was not aware of the detention and declined to elaborate.

Since the Taliban retook control of the country on August 15, 2021, the Taliban’s repression of the Afghan media has worsened. On the second anniversary of the group’s return to power, CPJ called on the Taliban to stop its relentless campaign of intimidation and abide by its promise to protect journalists in Afghanistan.