Two Afghan journalists were brutally beaten by the Taliban for covering the women’s protests in Kabul.
Recall that it was reported earlier this week that Taliban soldiers rounded up women protesters in a supermarket and opened fire while journalists covering the protest were taken to an unknown location.
Shocking pictures and videos have now emerged, showing what was done to the journalists after they were detained on Tuesday, September 7.
Photographer Nematullah Naqdi and reporter Taqi Daryabi were taken to a police station by the Talibans and beaten with cables for four hours, leaving them with severe welts and bruising to their backs and legs.
Video of them emerging after being tortured by the Taliban show them unable to stand on their own. They had to be held up on each side by men as they staggered out.
The journalists, who work for Kabul-based media outlet Etilaat-e Roz, had been reporting on protesters demanding an end to Taliban violations of the rights of women and girls when they were arrested.
According to Human Rights Watch, the two men were taken to a police station in Kabul and placed in separate cells before being tortured with cables.
They were released on Wednesday, September 8, and were treated in a nearby hospital for the injuries on their backs and faces.
The pair say they were beaten with batons, electrical cables and whips.
Naqdi told Agence France-Presse: “One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against the concrete. They kicked me in the head… I thought they were going to kill me.”
When he asked why they were being beaten, Naqdi said he was told: “You are lucky you weren’t beheaded.”
Daryabi added: “We were in so much pain that we couldn’t move.”
Editor-in-chief of the daily paper, Zaki Daryabi told Human Rights Watch: “Two of my colleagues from who were detained by Taliban, beaten for four hours.
“Under constant and brutal torture of the Taliban, the reporters lost their consciousness four times.
“This is unacceptable. We want the Taliban to bring their soldiers to justice.
“We also all the media organisations stand together against this unacceptable torture.”
Khadim Karimi, an editor at Etillaat Roz, was also arrested by the Taliban minutes after attempting to secure the release of the two young journalists.
He said that ten members of the Taliban then beat him “by boxing, kicking, cables, pipes and everything that was available,” the Telegraph reported.
He added: “I was looking death in the face. I was thinking about my family, because I thought that I would be killed.”
Karimi’s colleagues were released shortly after him.
“I felt the responsibility to try and release them. When we arrived there in front of the police station door, suddenly Taliban fighters arrested us by force.
“They didn’t give us a second and chance to talk and say details. Their response was hitting, boxing and violence.”
Dozens of Afghan reporters have reportedly been beaten or accosted in recent weeks despite the Taliban’s claims they’ll uphold press freedoms under the new regime.
Human Rights Watch revealed that the Taliban has been assaulting and detaining journalists after imposing new restrictions on their work.
“Taliban authorities claimed that they would allow the media to function so long as they ‘respected Islamic values,’ but they are increasingly preventing journalists from reporting on demonstrations,” Patricia Gossman, the associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said.
“The Taliban need to ensure that all journalists are able to carry out their work without abusive restrictions or fear of retribution.”
The NGO also reported that Taliban authorities arrested photojournalist, Wahid Ahmadi, on September 7, and confiscated his camera.
Last week an Afghan rock band who sang anti-Taliban hits were reported to be hiding for their lives after the militants murdered a folk singer.
Guitarist Faisal, 26, sang about kissing girls round the back of the mosque and told fans: “Don’t be scared of the Taliban.”
The musician fled his home after gunmen arrived on his doorstep and beat his brother.
He told The Sun from a safe house: “If they find me they will kill me.”
The week before a Taliban spokesman stated that: “Music is forbidden in Islam” and days later singer Tawab Andarabi was dragged from his home and fatally shot.