Fears grow for Afghan-American journalist Ali Latifi after detention by Taliban

Reporter was picked up after leaving the home of Hashmat Ghani, brother of the former president

A Taliban gunman on patrol at a World Press Freedom Day event at the office of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association in Kabul. AP
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Afghan-American journalist Ali Latifi has been unreachable since he was detained by Taliban authorities in Kabul on Thursday.

Fears are growing for his safety.

Relatives say Latifi was picked up by police on Thursday evening after having dinner at the home of Hashmat Ghani, a prominent tribal leader and brother of former presidentAshraf Ghani.

A taxi transporting Latifi back to his apartment in Afghanistan’s capital was stopped by police in the PD6 area of Kabul at about 9:30pm, according to Hashmat Ghani.

Latifi, who has reported for The National and several other international news outlets, is a well-known journalist in Afghanistan, where he has lived for most of the past decade.

Calls and messages to Latifi’s phone on Friday morning went unreturned.

Friends and relatives said they had been unable to reach him since his detention.

It is believed his phone has been confiscated by the authorities.

Updated: May 19, 2023, 9:24 AM