Journalism And Journalists Unsafe Under Taliban Governance In Afghanistan

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The Taliban’s extreme torture on journalists is making headlines, showing independent journalism in Afghanistan is dead.

The Taliban mercilessly tortured two journalists Nematullah Naqdi and Taqi Daryabi and a few protestors in Kabul. The journalists who were reporting the protests in Kabul, the Capital of Afghanistan, were taken into custody and were beaten badly.

Briefing about the pain and torture under the Taliban custody, Aber Shaygan a journalist from Erilaatroz Newspaper said, his Colleagues were beaten and tortured for covering women’s protest against the laws imposed by the Taliban.

After overtaking Afghanistan, the Taliban imposed Sharia Law for women, including demolition of the Women’s Ministry in Afghanistan. In order to raise their concerns against the same, the women of Afghanistan gathered and started a protest on the 8th of September. The Spokesperson of the Taliban said, “A woman can’t be a minister, it is like you put something on her neck that she can’t carry.” Raising a voice against this, the women of the nation left their homes and took to the streets, conducting a protest.

The two journalists, Nematullah Naqdi and Taqi Daryabi were at the protesting site to cover the news. However, the Taliban stopped them and when they said they were journalists, they were dragged on to the streets, thrown into different cells and beaten. The torture was so intense, they became unconscious. Besides the two reporters, close to 15 people including women were also under the custody of the Taliban, especially protestors, who raised their voices against the new Government.

Aber Shaygan said, “Karimi (editor at Erilaatroz Newspaper) barely finished his sentence, when one of the Taliban slapped him and told him to get lost.”

In addition, a cellmate under the Taliban custody said, “We could hear their (two journalists) screams and cries through the walls.” The cellmate further said, “The cellmates had even heard the sounds of women crying from pain.”

After being released by the Taliban, Nematullah Naqdi recalled the torture and said, “One of the Taliban put his foot on my head and crushed my face against the concrete.” Another journalist Taqi Daryabi said, “Eight of them came and they started beating me,” he was quoted as saying. “Using sticks, police sticks, rubber – whatever they had in their hands. The scar on my face is from shoes where they kicked me in the face.”

Speaking about the injuries, the journalists’ colleague Mr. Shaygan said, “They were beaten so badly, they couldn’t walk. They were hit with guns, they were kicked, they were whipped with cables, they were slapped.” He said the violence was so brutal that Naqdi and Daryabi had lost consciousness from the pain.

Concluding the narration of the extreme torture by the Taliban of their colleagues and others, Aber Shaygan said all five men were released after several hours in detention, they were issued a stern warning from a Taliban official before leaving. He said, “What these protesters were doing is illegal and by covering such things, you all broke the law. We will let you go this time, but next time you won’t be let out so easily.”

Meanwhile, responding to the torture of the journalists, Amnesty International, a non government organisation (NGO) for human rights said, “Journalists must also be permitted to report on the protests without fear of violence… The international community must use all leverage to demand that these basic rights are protected.”

Social media platforms and media houses across the world are sharing pictures of the two brutally injured journalists of Afghanistan. The new Taliban Government promised freedom of press and women in the Country, but the violence and murders are telling a different story, questioning the rights and freedom of the citizens of Afghanistan.

With this horrific incident with the journalists, many other media houses and press are scared of reporting the ground reality of the Taliban Government.

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, the nation has become a war zone with the rising number of murders, violence and protests. The Indian Government and the United States of America (U.S.A.,) are constantly trying to save their people stranded in Afghanistan and its Capital Kabul.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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