Two Afghan journalists were beaten in police custody last week after reporting a women’s demonstration in Kabul where they were detained by the Taliban, their editor said.
On social media, Zaki Daryabi, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Etilaat Roz daily, posted photos of two male reporters, one with massive red welts on his lower back and thighs and the other with similar marks on his shoulder and arm, Reuters reported.
On Wednesday, Sept. 8, Taqi Daryabi and Etilaatroz’s photographer Nematullah Naqdi were covering a women’s protest in Kabul.
They were transported to a police station and allegedly beaten with batons, electrical cords, and whips. They were released by the Taliban without explanation a few hours later, according to BBC.
“They took me to another room and handcuffed my hands behind me,” Daryabi told BBC’s Secunder Kermani in Kabul. “I decided not to defend myself because I thought they would just beat me even worse, so I lay down on floor in a position to protect the front of my body.
“Eight of them came, and they started beating me … Using sticks, police sticks, rubber—whatever they had in their hands. The scar on my face is from shoes where they kicked me in face.
“I was unconscious after that so they stopped. They took me to another building where there were cells and left me.”
Daryabi said that he was knocked out following the beating and released after around two hours.
The Taliban, who rushed into Kabul on Aug. 15 after a 20-year insurgency against foreign and Afghan forces, have promised to let the media operate and to respect people’s human rights.
However, after they took power, incidences of abuse have sparked concerns among some Afghans.
The Taliban announced earlier this week the formation of an all-male interim government to run the country. Since then, they have outlawed protests, considering them illegal unless authorization is sought from the justice ministry.
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