Images of journalists displaying injuries assaulted by the Taliban have once again underlined global concerns over the hardline Islamist group, and its ability to deliver on promises to protect human rights and guarantee freedom of press.
After the Taliban announced the formation of a new Afghan government, at least two such images have surfaced and have been shared by verified Twitter handles. This includes one post by Marcus Yam (a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times) and another by Etilaatroz (an Afghan news publication).
Images tweeted by Yam show two men stripped to their innerwear and standing with their backs to the camera. Their backs and legs appear to be bruised from physical assault.
Images tweeted by Etilaatroz show the same two men, whom the publication has identified as its employees – Taqi Daryabi and Nematullah Naqdi – and a close-up of their injuries.
According to Etilaatroz, Daryabi and Naqdi – a video editor and a reporter – were covering a protest led by women in the Kart-e-Char area of western Kabul. They both were then abducted by the Taliban, taken to different rooms and beaten and tortured.
“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,” Naqdi told news agency AFP.
He told AFP he was accosted by a Taliban fighter as soon as he started taking pictures of the rally by women demanding the right to work and education.
“They told me ‘You cannot film’… They arrested all those who were filming and took their phones. The Taliban started insulting me, kicking me,” he said, adding that when he asked why he was being beaten, he was told: “You are lucky you weren’t beheaded”.