Abdullah Danish
Afghan journalist Abdullah Danish was detained on June 13, 2024, while he was traveling from Kabul to Bagrami district. He was severely beaten before being released on June 15, and has since gone into hiding, according to a source. (Photo: Abdullah Danish/Facebook)

Afghan journalist Abdullah Danish detained, beaten following reports critical of Taliban

New York, June 20, 2024—The Taliban must investigate the arbitrary detention and beating of journalist Abdullah Danish and cease intimidating members of the press over their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday.

On the evening of June 13, Taliban intelligence officers detained Danish, a freelance journalist, while he was traveling from the capital Kabul to Bagrami district, according to news reports and a person familiar with the case, who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, due to fear of reprisal.

The source told CPJ that Danish was questioned over an April 3 report for the Khane Mawlana cultural center that was critical of the Taliban’s education policies and an April 21 Facebook post alleging the Taliban were using schools as military bases in Kapisa province.

Danish was held in an unknown location and severely beaten, sustaining a head injury, before being released on June 15 and going into hiding, the source said.

“The Taliban must immediately and impartially investigate the arbitrary detention and beating of journalist Abdullah Danish and hold those responsible to account,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Beh Lih Yi. “It is high time for the Taliban to take responsibility for the safety of the media and to allow reporters to critically cover issues of public interest without fear of reprisal.”

Danish previously worked as a broadcast director at Dunya Radio, a reporter and presenter at Mitra TV, and a program host and research manager at Maarif TV, the source told CPJ.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid did not respond to CPJ’s request for comment.