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Pakistani Journalist Jailed in Afghanistan

by Aamir Iqbal
Asif Hassan—AFP

File Photo. Asif Hassan—AFP

ARY News reporter was arrested for traveling between Pakistan and Afghanistan without legal documentation.

An Afghanistan court has sentenced a Pakistani journalist to four years imprisonment after finding him guilty of traveling to Nangarhar province without proper documentation, according to an official spokesman for the Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul.

“A court in Nangarhar informed the embassy that Faizullah Khan, working for ARY News as a reporter, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for entering Afghanistan without proper documentation,” said Akhtar Munir. According to Munir, Khan was arrested in April. “Afghan officials have informed Abrar Hussain, Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, that Khan was arrested by police in Nangarhar province in April 2014 after he failed to prove that he had entered Afghanistan with proper documentation,” he added.

“Khan had also been accused of espionage but the court dropped those charges and instead found him guilty of illegal entry to Afghanistan,” said Munir. The spokesman said the embassy was pursuing the case and would provide legal assistance to Khan to secure his freedom. “The ambassador has met cabinet members from Nangarhar … we are positive we can secure his release,” he added.

Akbar Achakzai, an Afghan journalist, said Khan had entered Nangarhar province to interview senior members of the Taliban, and was detained by police shortly after his arrival.

Both the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) have condemned Khan’s detention and called on Islamabad and Kabul to ensure his safe return.

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