Pajhwok reporter in Zabul detained
QALAT (PAN): Police detained the Pajhwok Afghan News reporter in compliance with an order from the appellant court chief in southern Zabul province on Saturday.
Bismallah Pakhtunmal told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone that he had been sent to a detention centre on the directive of appellant court head, Abdul Hadi Hamkar.
"Hamkar called me this morning to the prosecutor's office. I went there and was discussing with him a report about his removal. As we spoke, the judge asked police to arrest me," Pakhtunmal said.
Deputy Governor Mohammad Jan Rasulyar confirmed the journalist's arrest on the basis of the story he had filed on June 7. They would try to release the reporter through a jirga, he promised.
Pakhtunmal wrote in the report that the appellate court chief had been removed from his position on corruption charges, and that he was fired amid reports that residents planned a protest against him.
Quoting a source in the attorney office, he said local officials moved to prevent the demonstration, which they feared could turn violent. Later, Hamkar was flown to an unknown location.
Residents and tribal elders also said Hamkar's services had been terminated as a result of their complaints to the governor, the AG Office and the Presidential Palace.
Mohammad Daud Gulzar, a tribal elder, said they had evidence of the appellate court chief's involvement in graft and bribes.
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