Two local journalists from popular Afghan private television network Ariana have been detained by Taliban forces in Kabul for unknown reasons, according to their colleagues and family members.
Sharif Hassan Yar, the head of Ariana Television, tweeted on February 1 that Waris Hasrat and Aslam Ejab had been detained without reason and their families were concerned.
The two were detained by armed Taliban guards at Ariana's front gate on January 31, one of their colleagues who wished not to be named told German news agency dpa.
A spokesman for the Taliban's General Directorate of Intelligence, Mawlawi Hamraz, said the two were not in his agency's custody.
"Our surveillance cameras show that they were taken away by armed men in uniform who were riding government vehicles," the colleague added.
Hasrat was an anchor and producer for the political desk and Ejab had worked for the economic desk of the news channel for many years.
The families of the two journalists have asked media watchdogs to help secure the two journalists' release.
The arrests came a day after a guest criticized the Taliban regime during a live debate broadcast by Ariana. A segment of the debate was widely shared on social media.
The Taliban has been arresting protesters, women’s rights activists, and journalists since they retook power in August.
Some of the released journalists have reported that their equipment had been confiscated and they were subjected to abuse and torture.