Urgent. Journalist and old resident of the MDJ Mortaza Behboudi captured in Afghanistan


This morning, February 6, 2023, the news of the detention of journalist Mortaza Behboudi in Afghanistan 30 days ago, while he was doing a report alone, was made public. Reporters without Borders and 14 French media are indignant of this removal and demand his immediate release in an article, much like the Maison des Journalistes.

Mortaza Behboudi restrained in Kabul 

According to the most recent information from Reporters without Borders, the journalist was detained at a Kaboul prison since January 7, 2023, while he had arrived on Afghan soil only two days prior. The organization indicated in their report of having “exhausted all their resources” to free Mortaza, although they had succeeded in “establishing a channel of communication” with the Taliban. He will be subjected to an accusation of espionage. Photo-journalist since 2012, Mortaza Behboudi worked for the medias Ava Press, Bakhtar News, and for his own journal Bazar.


He had fled Afghanistan in 2015 after an attempt to report on his birth city, in the province of Wardak. He had then been arrested by a group of Taliban, who had confiscated his materials and identity papers. Worried about the contents of his films that could have caused retaliation against him, Mortaza fled to Iran in fear for his life. Having already visited France in the name of the Afghan ambassador in Paris, the photo-journalist had been invited the same year to the event Paris International Model United Nations, where he took advantage of the opportunity to request a visa and asylum in France. He was then welcomed to the Maison des Journalistes at the end of 2015. 

A Professional in Afghanistan Since His Youth

“We call on the Taliban regime to put a term to this senseless situation. Mortaza Behboudi is a reputed journalist, respected and appreciated by his colleagues. We hope that our message will be carried all the way to the capital of Afghanistan in the office of authorities who took the decision of his arrest and who hold the key to his liberation,” declared Reporters without Borders this morning. “He collaborates with numerous French and french-speaking medias : France Télévisions, TV5 Monde, Arte, Radio France, Mediapart, Libération, La Croix, notably. He is a co-author to the reporting series ‘Across Afghanistan, Under the Taliban’, published on Mediapart which had been awarded a prize in 2022 by the Bayeux prize for war correspondents and the Varenne prize for the daily national press. He contributed to the reporting of  ‘Afghan Girls Sold to Survive’, broadcasted on France 2, which will be equally awarded in 2022 by the Bayeux prize,” we can read on the site of France Info. 

Shocked by such an arbitrary detention, the Maison des Journalistes maintains its unconditional support to Mortaza Behboudi and call for his immediate freedom. 

Written by Maud Baheng Daizey, translated by Amelia Seepersaud.

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