Afghans Arrest Poet, Magazine Editor, Family Members Say

Afghanistan’s Taliban government on Thursday detained an Afghan poet, Izatullah Zawab, who serves as the head of Meena (Love) magazine in eastern Afghanistan, as part of an ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression and independent media in the country, family members posted on social media.
Afghans Arrest Poet:- Afghanistan’s Taliban government on Thursday detained an Afghan poet, Izatullah Zawab, who serves as the head of Meena (Love) magazine in eastern Afghanistan.[VOA]
Afghans Arrest Poet:- Afghanistan’s Taliban government on Thursday detained an Afghan poet, Izatullah Zawab, who serves as the head of Meena (Love) magazine in eastern Afghanistan.[VOA]

Afghans Arrest Poet:- Afghanistan’s Taliban government on Thursday detained an Afghan poet, Izatullah Zawab, who serves as the head of Meena (Love) magazine in eastern Afghanistan, as part of an ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression and independent media in the country, family members posted on social media.

The family members said Zawab was apprehended by the Taliban while traveling from the capital, Kabul, to eastern Nangarhar province.

In a social media post, Zawab's sons, Attullah Zawab and Nusrat Arman, said the Taliban authorities did not reveal why their father was detained but assured them of his well-being and imminent release.

The brothers asked other social media users to delete posts related to the arrest. In response, some Facebook users urged them not to remove the posts until Zawab's release.

Taliban authorities have not provided any official statement regarding the detention, only telling family members that he is detained "in connection with an issue" without further details.

Zawab is renowned for his critical poetry, which some social media users speculate may have contributed to his arrest. He had faced previous arrests and imprisonment during the former Afghan government because of his critical poetry. Zawab has been critical of mullahs, the mujaheddins and what he called corrupt officials of the country without naming anyone.

Zawab serves as the editor of Meena (Love) magazine published in eastern Afghanistan and owns a bookstore in Kabul.

Since regaining power in August 2021, the Taliban suspended Afghanistan's constitution and revoked most laws implemented over the past two decades. According to the Afghanistan Journalist Center, the Taliban arrested 61 journalists in 2023.

While some were released after weeks or months of detention, others received lengthy prison sentences.

In the past year, the center documented 168 cases of violence and intimidation against journalists, highlighting the extensive censorship exercised by the authoritarian rulers over the media. VOA/SP

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