The United Nations mission in Afghanistan today expressed its concern about the acts of intimidation against New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg, who yesterday was banned from leaving the country and told that he was being investigated for an article he had written.
“The attempts aimed at preventing a media representative from freely carrying out his duties demonstrate a disturbing regard for freedom of expression,” said Ján Kubiš, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Mr. Rosenberg was yesterday informed that he would not be permitted to leave Afghanistan as he was under investigation for unspecified in relation to an article he authored the previous day. He was asked but declined to provide the names of Afghan officials who were anonymously quoted in the article.
Today, the Afghan Attorney General’s Office announced they were expelling Mr. Rosenbeg within 24 hours for allegedly failing to assist their investigation.
The UN mission has urged Afghan authorities to urgently review their actions in light of due process, domestic laws and the international obligations of Afghanistan to safeguard media freedoms in the country.
“Open media is critical for healthy society and journalists must be able to work in a climate free of intimidation,” Mr. Kubiš stressed.