French newsman, 2 Pakistanis to be tried for espionage
ISLAMABAD- Taliban charged an arrested French reporter and two Pakistani guides with espionage, Islamabad based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) said.
Taliban said that they had found spying equipment with the three. The Afghan authorities plan to try them in a special court.
“They have been charged with spying,” Taliban intelligence chief Mullah Taj Meer was quoted as saying by AIP? He did not mention the timing and place of the trial.
“We had warned all journalists that whosoever entered Afghanistan illegally would be treated as US soldiers,” said the AIP.
Reporter for the French weekly Paris Match, Michel Peyrard (44) had a satellite telephone, tape recorder and “other spying instruments when arrested along with two guides near Jalalabad. All the three are said to be moving without valid travel documents.”
This is the second incident in the past few days. A British journalist working for The Sunday Express was also arrested for traveling without travel documents. She was later released in strange coincidence with the British premier’s brief visit to Islamabad. Taliban charge French, Pakistani reporters with spying
Mullah Taj Meer said that the French reporter was well. “He is being given food of his choice. He is being examined by a doctor. Even though Peyrard had apologized, he would still be charged. We will definitely try him,” AlP quoted Meer as saying.
AlP said two Pakistani reporters Muhammad Irfan from The Statesman and Mukarram Khan from Nawa-i-Waqt newspaper had been warned previously not to bring foreigners illegally into Afghanistan.
A French government spokesman said, “It is clear that Michel Peyrard is a well known journalist. He was working as a reporter. Accusations that he is a spy are absurd.” The French Foreign Ministry said it was doing all it could through Pakistan to secure, his release.
Michel Peyrard and his two Pakistani colleagues, Mohammad Irfan and Mukarram Khan, were displayed on the streets of a Taliban held city and stoned by angry residents. “They were taken to Jalalabad and displayed wearing Burqas. People were hitting them with stones and demanded that they be handed over to the people for punishment,” the source said.
Source: The News