Conflicts & War

Taliban beat up Afghan journalist reporting in Kabul

Kabul, Aug 26 (EFE).- Some Taliban gunmen in Kabul beat up a reporter working with a leading Afghanistan news channel and snatched away his cameras and mobile phone, the journalist alleged Thursday.

Ziar Yaad Khan, who works with TOLO News, tweeted that the militants assaulted him as he was on his assignment in the Afghan capital.

“I was beaten by the Taliban in Kabul’s New City while reporting. Cameras, technical equipment and my personal mobile phone have also been hijacked (sic),” Khan said.

Earlier, some reports had falsely claimed that Khan died in the assault.

Tolo News reported that Khan and his cameraman Baes Majidi were filming footage of jobless people and laborers in Haji Yaqoob square in the Shahr-e-Naw area of Kabul city “when the Taliban beat them for unclear reasons.”

“The Taliban got out of an armored Land Cruiser and hit me at gunpoint,” said the reporter.

Khan said he did not know why the Taliban gunmen behaved like that and attacked him.

“The issue has been shared with Taliban leaders. However, the perpetrators have not yet been arrested, which is a serious threat to freedom of expression.”

The news channel citing Ahmadullah Wasiq, deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, said they were “seriously” following the incident to determine why the incident happened.

“Not only this, but we will also investigate and solve any issues in the way of the journalists,” Wasiq said.

Earlier, the Taliban reportedly raided the homes of at least six members of the press after taking power in the country earlier this month, the Committee to Protect Journalists has said

“The Taliban leadership must intervene to prevent the harassment of journalists and unwarranted searches of their homes by its fighters,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, in Washington.

“The Taliban need to prove that their stated support for press freedom in Afghanistan truly means something, and ensure that its members stop raiding journalists’ homes and return all confiscated materials immediately.”

The incident comes days after the Taliban assured the journalist fraternity that the media was free to work in the war-torn country after the Islamist extremist took control of Afghanistan.

The Islamist militia earlier ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 before US-led forces ousted them.

The insurgents notoriously enforced strict curbs on media, sparking new fear among journalists that they would not be able to work under Taliban rule.

However, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, in his two press conferences since taking over, sent out conciliatory messages and assured the media that their rights would be protected and that they were free to report from the country. EFE


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