AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
KABUL: An Afghan reporter detained for allegedly making false accusations against officials has been released on bail after his father appealed for his freedom on health grounds, officials said Wednesday.
Amnesty International began a campaign last week for the release of Nasto Naderi, who was detained by the attorney general’s office. Prosecutors said he had made false accusations against government officials in his TV show.
Abdul Rahman Koshan, the head of the criminal investigation in the attorney general’s office, told AFP that Nasto had been released on bail on Tuesday.
He said Naderi’s father, Partaw Naderi, sought the release of his son, who had health problems, through an appeal to the Afghan parliament.
“My son, Nasto has been in jail for several weeks. He suffers rheumatism and I’m worried,” his father said in his appeal. Koshan said the journalist was “still under investigation” and that his office was preparing to put him on trial.
Naderi hosts a programme called “Salaam to my homeland” which is “known for revealing cases of corruption, criminality and other controversial issues, often implicating high-profile Afghan government figures,” Amnesty said. But critics have questioned his journalistic standards, saying some of his allegations against government officials are made without proper sourcing or evidence.
Press freedom is safeguarded in Afghanistan’s constitution — drawn up after a US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime in 2001 — but reporters face challenges, including intimidation and imprisonment for reporting on corrupt officials.