Journalists rally against Mujaddidi's arrest

 CHARIKAR, September 21, 2011

Journalists and media representatives in the northern Parwan province rallied to protest arrest of Hujatullah Mujaddidi, a freelance journalist and provincial head of the Free Association of Journalists, in the neighboring Kapisa province by the National Directorate of Security officials.

Mujaddidi was detained while working on a report on the parliamentary election in Mahmud Raqi three days back.

Ahmad Hanayesh, head of the Free Association of Journalists in the Northern Zone who organized the rally in Charikar, told AFJC that NDS has brought no charges or suspicions against Mujaddidi and that nobody knew why he was arrested still after two days of his detention.

He said they were concerned about Mujaddidi's status and asked for his immediate release.

Mujaddidi was fired from his position as director of the state-run provincial radio and television stations a month ago due to disagreements with Governor Ghulam Ghaus Abu Bakr, Hanayesh said.

He added they have met with senior provincial officials to discuss Mujaddidi's release, but they said he was arrested on order from NDS central office in Kabul and only it could decide his fate.

Hanayesh voiced concern over increasing threats to journalists by local power-brokers which led to self-censorship and lack of feeling safe.