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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Afghan Journo freed

Monday, August 04, 2008

Authorities have freed an Afghan journalist who was detained after alleged criticism of top government officials, but he has been charged with seeking bribes from ministers, his station said Thursday.

The intelligence service arrested Nasir Fayaz, presenter of an outspoken TV programme called "Haqiqat" or "The Truth" on privately-owned Ariana TV, on Monday, a day after the airing of part of his show.

Authorities alleged the show, in which commentators were invited to give their opinions about developments in the country, had insulted certain ministers. It was halted mid-broadcast on orders of the intelligence agency.

"Mr Fayaz was freed Wednesday unconditionally," Abdul Qadir Mirzai, the chief news editor and a spokesman for Ariana, told AFP.He had been charged "demanding a bribe" from Commerce Minister Mohammad Amin Farhang and a 24-hour power supply for his home from Energy Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan, he added.

President Hamid Karzai and his cabinet had discussed the show at a regular ministers meeting Monday where the reporter was accused of "insulting" top government officials, according to a government statement released Tuesday.
posted by Travis, 4:18 pm

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