“The Afghan attorney general’s office has advised Matthew Rosenberg that he must remain in Afghanistan while an investigation into his article is ongoing,” Times international editor Joe Kahn said in a statement. “We are eager to work with the Afghan authorities to resolve any concerns about the article, which we feel is fair and accurate.”
Rosenberg confirmed on Twitter that he is unable to leave Afghanistan, adding that the government seemingly told Tolo TV, a news network, first:
@cpjasia Hi. Yes, the attorney general's spokesman told us a short while ago about the travel ban. They apparently told Tolo first.
— Matthew Rosenberg (@mrosenbergNYT) August 19, 2014
The article that prompted the travel ban reported on calls for an interim government in Afghanistan.
The 40-year-old reporter said he was originally called in for an “informal chat” about the article, but according to the Times, Gen. Sayed Noorullah Sadat soon asked Rosenberg to identify anonymous government sources from the story. Rosenberg refused.
The reporter was initially unable to leave the room, but was released after prosecutors spoke with an anonymous “higher ranking official.”
Now, according to a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, Rosenberg is under a travel ban “until this issue over this article is resolved.”