Portugal Colonial - Two Afghan journalists released after Taliban detention

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Two Afghan journalists released after Taliban detention
Two Afghan journalists released after Taliban detention

Two Afghan journalists released after Taliban detention

Two Afghan journalists detained by the Taliban earlier this week were released Wednesday, the news editor of their media organisation said.

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Since returning to power in August the Taliban have increasingly cracked down on dissent, and local journalists have been beaten and intimidated while covering protests.

On Monday Ariana TV reporters Waris Hasrat and Aslam Hijab were detained by the Taliban, according to the Afghan Media Association, a newly founded journalists' rights group.

A Taliban spokesman said he did not have any information on the pair, but both the United Nations and Amnesty International blamed the hardline Islamist group for their abduction.

Ali Asghari, news editor of Ariana News, told AFP both had been released "after being found guiltless".

He said no further details could be released for security reasons.

Their arrest came two weeks after a pair of female activists went missing after participating in a Kabul protest calling for women's rights.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern for them and four of their relatives, who all remain missing.

The Taliban have denied any knowledge of their whereabouts and say they are investigating the matter.

And last month a prominent university lecturer and regime critic was also detained, before being released days later following outrage in Afghanistan and abroad.

Having ruled with an iron fist during their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban have promised a less repressive form of government this time around.

But they have slowly ramped up restrictions, particularly against women.