From Al Jazeera:
Afghan Al Jazeera producers held
Azimy was asked to meet authorities at the intelligence headquarters for an interview
Two Al Jazeera employees have been detained in Afghanistan after being told by officials to report to the country’s intelligence headquarters.
Concern for the welfare of Qais Azimy and Hameedullah Shah was growing on Monday, a day after they arrived at the official building in Kabul, the capital.
Azimy, a senior producer for Al Jazeera English, had travelled to the headquarters after being told to meet authorities for an interview, two days before campaigning for the country’s presidential elections was due to begin.
Shah, who works for the Al Jazeera Arabic television channel, was picked up from the network’s bureau by two officers.
David Chater, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Kabul, said: “We have not heard a single piece of information about exactly what is happening.
“We don’t know why they’ve been taken. We don’t know what they’ve been charged with, if they’ve been charged at all. We don’t know why they’re being interrogated, if indeed they’re being interrogated.”
Al Anstey, Al Jazeeera English’s director of news, said he was “very concerned” for the pair’s welfare.
“Qais is a committed and a dedicated journalist and a key member of our team in Afghanistan.
“Hamedullah Shah is a dedicated professional journalist … who has won a number of awards for his work for Al Jazeera in Afghanistan.
“Al Jazeera is officially requesting information from the Afghan authorities and calling for their immediate release.”
Chater said that the taxi driver who had taken Azimy to the headquarters was sent away from the building after waiting for him to return for about six hours.
“We’ve repeatedly tried to find out exactly what happened,” he said.
“We’ve tried every single lever we know here … we are in an information vacuum.”
Chater said that Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, the UN and the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) had been contacted to see if they can provide any information on the situation, without success.
“With the election [campaigning] starting here tomorrow, it is a very sensitive time.”
Chater said the Afghan authorities may have been angered by a report made by Azimy showing him meeting Taliban fighters around the town of Kunduz in the north of the country, which was broadcast on Friday.
Both producers are Afghan nationals. Azimy lives with his wife and two daughters in Afghanistan.