The United Nations mission in Afghanistan expressed "deepening concern" Thursday over reports that journalists for the country's leading independent TV station TOLOnews had been detained by the Taliban.
"Deepening concern tonight in Afghanistan over credible reports of further arbitrary detentions by the Taliban of @Tolonews reporters," the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Twitter.
"The UN urges the release of all those taken away by gunmen and an end to the intimidation and threats against journalists and independent media," it added.
Reports began circulating that multiple senior TOLO employees had been detained by Taliban intelligence earlier in the evening, but there was no immediate confirmation from the channel.
Rights groups have condemned a decline in media freedoms and increasing attacks on journalists since the Taliban swept back to power last year, seizing control of Afghanistan following a lightning offensive that ousted the former Western-backed government.
During the Taliban's 1996-2001 stint in power, there was no Afghan media to speak of -- the Islamists banned television, movies and most other forms of entertainment, deeming them immoral.
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