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Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders along with 14 French media outlets and production companies on Monday called on Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to release a journalist imprisoned for a month in Kabul.

In a joint statement, RSF and French media said journalist Mortaza Behboudi, with dual French and Afghan citizenship, was arrested on Jan. 7 in the Afghan capital, two days after he arrived in the country as part of a reporting assignment. They said they decided to make the case public after trying in vain for a month to obtain his release.

RSF and French media called on Taliban authorities “to end this senseless situation” and that the “respected and appreciated” journalist was said to be “accused of spying.”

According to the statement, Behboudi, 28, began his career as a photojournalist at the age of 16 in Afghanistan, where he was born. He came as a refugee to Paris at 21 because he had been threatened in his home country and later worked as a freelance journalist for numerous French media.

Behboudi was awarded the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents last year for a series of reports about life in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime.