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Afghan Reporter With Iran’s Fars News Agency Arrested On Spying Charges

Abdolvahed Hakimi, Kabul bureau chief for the Iranian Fars news agency
KABUL -- An Afghan reporter with Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency has been arrested in Afghanistan on spying charges.

An unnamed senior Afghan security official told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the reporter has been arrested for "disclosing government secrets to Iran" without providing more details.

Fars -- said to be affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards Force -- has confirmed that its Kabul bureau chief and reporter Abdolvahed Hakimi was arrested on May 5 by Afghan security agents and taken to an unknown location.

The agency quotes Hakimi's wife as saying that her husband had made a brief telephone call on the night of May 5 to inform his family of his arrest by the Afghan National Security Office.

Fars said the arrest could be down to a "misunderstanding" on the part of Afghan security bodies.
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    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi, one of the most popular and trusted media outlets in Afghanistan, is based in Kabul and supported by a nationwide network of local Dari- and Pashto-speaking journalists. Nearly half of the country's adult audience accesses Azadi's reporting on a weekly basis.

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