Sultan Ali Jawadi, director of independent Radio Nasim, is currently serving a one-year jail sentence on anti-state charges after he was arrested in October 2023 in the wake of a Taliban’s crackdown on the Afghan media, which has worsened since the fall of Kabul in 2021.
Taliban intelligence operatives arrested Jawadi on October 7, 2023, at his home in the city of Nili in central Daikundi province. Radio Nasim journalists Saifullah Rezaei and Mojtaba Qasemi were also arrested at Jawadi’s home but have since been released, according to local reporters familiar with the case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
On December 10, a local Taliban court convicted Jawadi for spreading anti-regime propaganda, committing espionage for foreign organizations, and cooperating with foreign media. The local Taliban’s intelligence agency presented the charge sheet just before the start of the closed-door proceeding.
Taliban intelligence operatives previously detained Jawadi and the two reporters for five hours on September 27, 2023, at the provincial intelligence headquarters and confiscated their mobile phones, a reporter told CPJ, also on condition of anonymity.
They also raided and sealed Radio Nasim’s office and stopped its broadcasting. Radio Nasim reports on current affairs and rebroadcasts content from an international radio network.
CPJ’s messages to Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid in late 2023 did not receive a response.