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Taliban Court Sentences Afghan Journalist to Prison

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Islamabad – A court docket in Afghanistan has sentenced a journalist to 1 12 months in jail on expenses that free press advocates say included criticism of the Taliban authorities in his social media posts and ‘espionage.’ A Taliban spokesman mentioned he was sentenced for “prison misconduct.”

Khalid Qaderi, a poet and reporter with Radio Nowruz within the western Afghan metropolis of Herat, has been in custody since his arrest in mid-March. The Worldwide Federation of Journalists (IFJ) alleged in a press release issued Thursday that he was tried and sentenced final week by a Taliban navy court docket, one thing the Taliban denied.

The IFJ mentioned the younger Afghan journalist was accused of posting content material crucial of the Taliban, together with his radio broadcasts, on Fb. It quoted Qaderi telling the court docket, ‘I noticed my errors, and I deleted the posts from my Fb web page.’

The IFJ denounced what it mentioned was ‘the arbitrary sentencing’ and urged the Islamist Taliban to stop their persecution of journalists for his or her impartial reportage. This may be the primary reported case of a journalist being tried by a navy court docket for the reason that Taliban seized energy in Afghanistan final August.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Thursday confirmed the sentencing of the journalist however insisted Qaderi’s arrest had nothing to do along with his ‘journalistic work,’ nor was he tried by a navy court docket.

Mujahid claimed whereas talking to VOA’s Afghan Service {that a} ‘civil’ court docket in Herat had imposed the sentence on Qaderi for ‘prison misconduct.’ The spokesman didn’t elaborate.

‘Underneath Taliban rule,’ the IFJ mentioned, “Afghan journalists have continued to face draconian restrictions, threats to freedom and arbitrary arrests.” The group referred to as for the Taliban to instantly launch the journalist from jail.

The Taliban insist they assist media actions in Afghanistan throughout the legislation, however an estimated 1,000 journalists have fled the nation for the reason that Islamist group returned to energy virtually 9 months in the past, citing threats, harsh restrictions on media and financial upheavals.

In the meantime, the U.S. Fee on Worldwide Spiritual Freedom (USCIRF) mentioned in a report issued Thursday that the Taliban proceed to persecute non secular minorities and punish Afghans in accordance with the group’s excessive interpretation of Islamic legislation or Sharia.

‘The Taliban takeover and U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 led to a mass exodus, heightened by a violent crackdown on civil society, focused killings, beatings and detentions, extreme restrictions on ladies’s rights, diminished native media presence, and a rise in violent, focused assaults claimed by Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-Ok),’ the U.S. authorities entity mentioned.

The USCIRF screens the situations of refugees who’ve fled extreme violations of spiritual freedom and the U.S. authorities’s coverage responses.

Girls’s rights

Final week, the Taliban authorities decreed that girls should totally cowl their faces and our bodies when in public, ideally with the standard all-covering burqa, in one of many harshest restrictions the Islamist group has imposed on Afghan ladies since seizing energy.

The edict suggested ladies to go away their properties solely in instances of necessity and warned that violations might result in the punishment of their male kinfolk. The transfer drew widespread worldwide condemnation and calls for for its reversal.

The Taliban defended the feminine costume code, saying it’s according to Islamic and Afghan traditions. The group additionally has not but allowed secondary schoolgirls to renew courses, ignoring home and worldwide calls for to carry the ban.

The United Nations Help Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) mentioned Thursday that its chief, Deborah Lyons, in a collection of conferences with Taliban leaders this week, referred to as on them to respect and guarantee ladies’s basic rights.

‘The worldwide group’s means to interact with the Taliban as credible actors requires them to make good on commitments for all women to return to high school, in addition to to make sure ladies can work, entry fundamental providers and have free motion with out impediments,’ UNAMA wrote on Twitter.

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