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Afghan journalists claim being beaten by Taliban

Updated 08 Sep, 2021
The Taliban reportedly arrested and beat journalists in Afghanistan while they were doing their job. Reuters
The Taliban reportedly arrested and beat journalists in Afghanistan while they were doing their job. Reuters

Reports of Taliban soldiers beating journalists covering protests have led to questions around how Afghan press will fare under Taliban rule.

The Taliban have said they will rule inclusively and will implement harsh restrictions like they did from 1996 to 2001, but many Afghans, especially women and journalists, have expressed serious reservations. Taliban soldiers shut down a women’s protest in Kabul on Monday by firing guns into the air.

They also arrested several journalists according to AP's Kathy Gannon.

The Taliban had ordered journalists to stop covering the protests this past week but several refused and some were arrested.

Afghanistan's TOLOnews TV channel said its cameraman Wahid Ahmadi was arrested.

It also tweeted images of five journalists from Etilaatroz who were arrested on Monday.

On Wednesday, Etilaatroz tweeted images of their journalists who were beaten reportedly by Taliban.

The Parsi-language outlet tweeted that their reporters Taqi Daryabi and Nematullah Naqdi were severely beaten after being arrested by the Taliban.

The Taliban have not released a statement about these arrests.

Etilaatroz's publisher Zaki Daryabi tweeted a video following Naqdi's release as he sounded the alarm bell for journalists in Afghanistan.

This is not the first time concern has been raised about journalism and journalists' safety under Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

In an interview with Reporters without Borders on August 15, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said "no threat or reprisal will be carried out against journalists” under their rule.

“We will respect freedom of the press, because media reporting will be useful to society and will be able to help correct the leaders’ errors. Through this statement to RSF, we declare to the world that we recognise the importance of the role of the media.”

But as RSF itself noted "the future will tell" how much credence to attach to Mujahid's claims.