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"Payman" news editor freed after eight days in detention

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders hails the 21 January 2009 release of Nazari Paryani, the news editor of the daily "Payman", after eight days in detention in Kabul over an allegedly blasphemous article that was published by mistake. Paryani was freed provisionally and still faces possible prosecution. Reporters Without Borders calls for all charges against the paper to be dropped.

Exhausted by the ordeal, Paryani told Reporters Without Borders: "I was arrested illegally and in violation of all principles and national and international laws. The official at the Kabul prosecutor's office in charge of the investigation entered our office with policemen and arrested me and six of my colleagues. They said they came on the orders of the president and the prosecutor."

Paryani continued: "I was interrogated twice. The first day it was in the office of the person in charge of the investigation. I explained that as the person responsible for the news pages, I had nothing to do with this regrettable error. I think they understood but they kept me in detention. The next day, in the prison, they repeated their questions and I gave the same answers."

He added: "They put me with common criminals. It was humiliating for me as a journalist to have been arrested illegally and put with criminals and delinquents. I was free on the orders of the president but I am still under judicial surveillance. And the case against the newspaper is still open."

Updates the Paryani case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/100038

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