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Afghan Sentence of Pakistani Journalist Draws Condemnation

  • VOA News

Pakistani journalists carry posters with the picture of local reporter Faizullah Khan, who was detained and imprisoned in Afghanistan, during a protest for his release outside the press club in Karachi, July 15, 2014.

Pakistani journalists carry posters with the picture of local reporter Faizullah Khan, who was detained and imprisoned in Afghanistan, during a protest for his release outside the press club in Karachi, July 15, 2014.

Media rights groups are condemning the sentence of a Pakistani journalist by a court in eastern Afghanistan.

Faizullah Khan, a reporter with Pakistani television channel ARY News, was sentenced to four years in prison earlier this week on charges he entered Afghanistan without proper travel documents.

Afghan authorities had accused Khan of spying but no formal espionage charges were brought against him.

The Pakistani journalist was arrested in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar in April after traveling to the nearby Pakistani city of Peshawar to interview members of the Taliban.

Reporters Without Borders and the Pakistani NGO Freedom Network on Wednesday called for Afghan authorities to quash the "utterly disproportionate" sentence on appeal.

The rights groups issued a statement saying, "we suspect the [Afghan] intelligence services of being behind this harsh sentence and we call on the authorities to explain why a military court was used to try an administrative offense."

The Pakistani Embassy in Kabul is said to be involved to helping Khan in his legal fight.

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