NEWS
10/09/2021 11:18 BST

Afghan Journalists Reveal How The Taliban Beat Them In Harrowing Pictures

The militants were punishing the journalists for reporting on a women's protest in Kabul.

WAKIL KOHSAR via Getty Images
Afghan newspaper Etilaat Roz journalists Nematullah Naqdi (L) and Taqi Daryabi claim the Taliban beat them after holding them in a police station

Two Afghan journalists shared images of the horrific marks left on their bodies after the Taliban attacked them on Thursday.

Nematullah Naqdi, a newspaper photographer, and his colleague, reporter Taqi Daryabi, revealed they were beaten with weapons including batons, electrical cables and whips by the militants after covering Wednesday’s women’s protest.

Naqdi told Agence France-Presse: “One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against my concrete. They kicked me in the head...I thought they were going to kill me.”

Marcus Yam via Getty Images
The journalists, Nematullah Naqdi (left) and Taqi Daryabi, said they were beaten with electrical cables, batons and whips

He recalled asking why he was beaten. The photographer said he was told: “You are lucky you weren’t beheaded.”

Naqdi added that the attack began, and “the Taliban started insulting me, kicking me.”

After several hours of abuse, Daryabi said: “We were in so much pain that we couldn’t move.”

The two journalists work for the Afghan outlet Etilaat Roz and were attempting to cover Wednesday’s protest outside a Kabul police station.

Demonstrators were campaigning to end the Taliban’s human rights restrictions on women and girls after the militants announced that its interim government would consist only of men.

The women’s demonstration was a notable moment for Afghanistan as they were standing up against a terror group notorious for their misogynistic views and suppression of dissidents.

WAKIL KOHSAR via Getty Images
The two journalists were beaten for trying to cover the women's protest in Kabul

Naqid said a Taliban fighter tried to grab his camera when he started taking photos, while the militants were also rounding up anyone recording the protest.

The journalists said they were taken to a nearby police station where they were beaten for several hours before being released.

Despite the Taliban’s initial promises it was now a more moderate force and willing to work with the media, this is not the only report of Afghan journalists facing abuse at the hands of the terror groups.

According to The Guardian, one senior journalist claimed, “press freedom has ended” in Afghanistan.

They added: “There’s a big difference between the Taliban in the media and the Taliban on the street.”

Since the militants took over in August, there have been multiple reports of attacks on the reporters. 

Over just two days this week the militants detained at least 14 journalists for covering Kabul protests. Six were subject to violence, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The committee’s Asia programme coordinator Steven Butler said: “The Taliban is quickly proving that earlier promises to allow Afghanistan’s independent media to continue operating freely and safely are worthless.

“We urge the Taliban to live up to those earlier promises, to stop beating and detaining reporters doing their job, and allow the media to work freely without free of reprisal.”

Marcus Yam via Getty Images
The women's protest from Wednesday – they were campaigning against the new all-male interim government announced by the Taliban

The attacks on the press have heightened concerns about Afghanistan, especially as the new Taliban interior ministry has now banned unauthorised protests.

The international community is calling for the Taliban to reinstate media freedoms, but the Taliban is yet to respond.