(KABUL, Afghanistan) — A day after he was told not to leave the country, a New York Times reporter who wrote a potentially explosive story was given 24 hours to leave Afghanistan.
As a result, Matthew Rosenberg becomes the first American journalist to be expelled from Afghanistan since before the U.S.-led invasion in October 2001 to oust the Taliban.
What started all the brouhaha was Rosenberg’s article that top Afghan leaders with strong ties to the military are using the threat of a possible coup to spur presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah to reach a compromise over the disputed election results.
An audit of all eight million ballots is being conducted following Abdullah’s allegation of massive voter fraud. The preliminary tally following the run-off election had Ghani far ahead of his challenger.
The Afghan attorney general who ordered Rosenberg’s expulsion contends the reporter’s account “is considered divisive and contrary to the national interest, security and stability of Afghanistan,” and is falsely attributed to “high-level government officials.”
Rosenberg says he stands by his story. He also refused to divulge his sources, which likely led to him getting kicked out of Afghanistan.
President Hamid Karzai also supports Rosenberg’s expulsion. A statement from Karzai’s office said, “This kind of article should not be allowed” and that the Times “showed foreign interference and conspiracy in order to destabilize Afghanistan.”
Source: ABC News Radio