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Afghan secret service releases journalist

(AFP)

Sunday 8 July 2007

KABUL - Afghanistan’s secret service released on bail Sunday a journalist critical of the government who was held for four days on undisclosed charges, while a second media worker remained in custody.

Kamran Mir Hazar, a radio journalist and chief editor of a political website blog, was freed on bail but his case was still being processed, intelligence agency spokesman Sayed Ansari told AFP.

The National Directorate of Security has not said why it picked up Mir Hazar on July 4.

Martin Gerner, a contributor to the US-based media development group Internews, said Mir Hazar was in good health after his release.

However, ‘We still don’t know the official reasons for his detention,’ he said.

An intelligence official has told AFP on condition of anonymity that Mir Hazar was detained for articles published on his blog (www.kabulpress.org), some of which accuse senior Afghan officials of spying.

The editor-in-chief of a government publication, Asif Nang, is still with the intelligence services after being arrested June 30.

There have been no reasons given for his detention but he is said to have reprinted in his publication extracts from a Canadian essay critical of President Hamid Karzai.

An intelligence agent has also claimed, again on condition of anonymity, that his case is linked to allegations of spying for Pakistan

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