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Taliban Arrests Owner Of Afghan TV Network

Aref Nouri, the head of Afghanistan's private Nourin television network, has been arrested by the Taliban authorities for unspecified reasons.

Nouri's son, Roman Nouri, told RFE/RL's Radio Azadi on December 27 that Taliban security forces arrived at the family's home in Kabul the day earlier and took his father away.

The younger Nouri said no arrest warrant was presented when officers wearing national security service uniforms surrounded and entered the home and that they refused to say where his father was being taken.

"We have no idea where he is being held," Roman Nouri said, adding that the Taliban later confirmed it had carried out the arrest.

The Association of Free Journalists cited a Taliban government spokesman as saying the arrest was not related to Nouri's media activities.

Hojjatullah Mujaddidi, the association's executive director, said it has thus far failed to determine where Nouri is being held and has requested information from the authorities.

Four journalists have been arrested or beaten by the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan in recent days, according to the association, and the fate of two of them is unknown.

The Taliban, which employed a strict interpretation of Islamic Shari'a law during its last stint in power from 1996 to 2001, retook power in Kabul in mid-August, prompting concerns about the future of free media and human rights in the country.

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    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi

    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi is one of the most popular and trusted media outlets in Afghanistan. Nearly half of the country's adult audience accesses Azadi's reporting on a weekly basis.