NATO suspects 2 Afghan journalists of Taliban ties
NATO forces have detained two Afghan journalists suspected of having ties to the Taliban.
Muhammad Nader, who works for the Arabic television network Al-Jazeera, was arrested early Wednesday morning in a pre-dawn raid on his home in Kandahar city. Freelancer Rahmatullah Nekzad was arrested in Ghazni province on Monday.
The International Security Assistance Force, which oversees operation in Afghanistan, has claimed the two men are Taliban facilitators. Al-Jazeera has responded by accusing the ISAF of suppressing "comprehensive war coverage."
Journalists in Kandahar city are asking the provincial governor to intervene, saying Nader's arrest sends the wrong message to Afghans.
Afghan reporters "have to toe a very fine line," said CBC reporter Carolyn Dunn, who is in Kandahar.
"On one hand, they have to get out and talk to the Taliban and do stories on [them]. On the other hand, there are some real concerns that sometimes these journalists are a little too cozy with the insurgents," Dunn said.
Dunn said it is not uncommon for local journalists to arrive on the scene of a bomb blast almost immediately after it has happened, for example, leading authorities to suspect they may have had some knowledge it was going to take place.