Accessibility links

Afghanistan Orders 'Times' Reporter To Leave Within 24 Hours

A "New York Times" reporter has been given 24 hours to leave Afghanistan for not cooperating with an investigation, according to a statement from the attorney general's office.

The journalist, Matthew Rosenberg, is quoted by Reuters as saying he has not yet been contacted directly by officials about any order to leave.

Rosenberg had been summoned to the attorney general's office for questioning on August 19 after "The New York Times" ran a story about officials discussing plans to form an interim government if a deadlock over the presidential election failed to be broken soon.

An April 6 vote to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai failed to produce a clear winner and a June runoff triggered allegations of massive fraud.

Candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani eventually signed a joint declaration confirming they would cooperate on forming a unity government after an audit of votes from June's second-round presidential election is completed.

The "New York Times" story said some officials with ties to the security forces were "threatening to seize power" to break the political deadlock.

Basir Azizi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's attorney general, said Rosenberg's August 18 story was "against the law and national interests of Afghanistan."

The United States on August 19 urged the Afghan government "to respect fundamental freedoms of expression and expression of the press."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP