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Foreign Journalists on UN Assignment Detained in Kabul

Two international journalists on an assignment for the UN refugee agency have been detained in the Afghan capital, the UNHCR said on Friday.

“Two journalists on assignment with UNHCR and Afghan nationals working with them have been detained in Kabul. We are doing our utmost to resolve the situation, in coordination with others,” the UNHCR tweeted.

One of the journalists was Andrew North, a former BBC correspondent who had covered Afghanistan for about two decades and had regularly travelled to the war-ravaged country.

“Andrew was in Kabul working for the UNHCR, trying to help the people of Afghanistan,” his wife Natalia Antelava tweeted.

“We are extremely concerned for his safety and call on anyone with influence to help secure his release.”

Taliban Government spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the authorities were looking into the issue.

“We have received information about this, and are trying to confirm whether they had been detained or not,” Mujahid said.

Since the Taliban seized power, they have cracked down on dissent: by forcefully dispersing women’s protests, detaining critics of the regime, and beating several journalists.

Two Afghan journalists were detained for a few days earlier this month before being released.

Four women protesters have been missing since last month after taking part in anti-Taliban demonstrations.

The Taliban authorities have however denied any involvement.



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