Geneva: Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), the global media safety and rights body, expressed concern over the imprisonment of Habib-ur-Rahman Taseer, a local Afghan journalist associated with Radio Azadi/Radio Free Europe. According to the Afghanistan Journalist Center, Taseer was detained by the Taliban regime of Afghanistan on April 6 and lately, he has been sent to jail. Taseer was reportedly detained for preparing local reports for Radio Azadi and his smartphone was seized and checked without his consent. The Ghazni-based journalist was also asked to exit from a joint Whatsapp group of journalists.

“It’s worrisome that a dedicated scribe like Habib-ur-Rahman Taseer remains under detention for his work as a media person. The Taliban regime must release him urgently along with over 55 Afghan journalists and media workers who were arrested in the last few months,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC. He also expressed shock over the killing of a Pakistani journalist last month and demanded justice for the bereaved family, saying “Jam Saghir was the 30th journalist killed this year. Pak government in Islamabad must investigate the matter and nab the culprits involved with the crime.” Jam Saghir Ahmed Lar, who used to work for Daily Khabrain from Punjab province of Pakistan, was shot dead by three armed men last March 14.

Meanwhile, the  Punjab police have reported that a previously unidentified body discovered on March 11 near Lehri National Park has been confirmed to be Pakpattan-based journalist Tahira Nosheen Rana. PEC is dismayed to hear of this brutal assassination and urges authorities to conduct a comprehensive investigation into her murder. She was stabbed multiple times in her face and stomach, and her face had been burned with acid. According to a video interview recorded on November 24, Rana alleged her husband had previously assaulted, blackmailed, and abducted her after she initiated traditional divorce proceedings.

PEC’s South & Southeast Asia representative Nava Thakuria revealed that since January 1, 2024, three journo-casualties have been reported from Myanmar (which lost Ko Myat Thu Tun to military atrocities) and Pakistan. Last year, Pakistan lost Imtiaz Baig, Ghulam Asghar Khand, and Jan Mohammed Mahar to assailants, where India witnessed the killing of Shashikant Warishe, Abdur Rauf Alamgir and Vimal Kumar Yadav. Similarly, Ashiqul Islam and Golam Rabbani Nadim lost their lives in Bangladesh, and Husein Naderi and Akmal Nazari were killed in Afghanistan.