Pajhwok Afghan News, July 29, 2006

Journalists Thrashed in Kabul

Three staffers of Tolo TV were beaten by armed men while covering a demonstration against Sayyaf in Paghman

Lailuma Sadid and Zainab Muhammadi

KABUL: Three staffers working with a private television channel were beaten by armed men while covering a demonstration against former Mujahideen leader and current Member of Parliament Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf in Paghman district of Kabul on Saturday.

Omid Yakmanish: "We don't have much freedom, journalists in Afghanistan are restricted. We cannot broadcast freely."
Globe and Mail, June 13, 2006

Noorullah Rahmani, a reporter with the Tolo TV, said his cameraman Qais Ahmad and their driver were thrashed and their cameras were confiscated by seven gunmen 'loyal to Sayyaf'. Some 400 demonstrators staged the demonstration to protest against illegal grabbing of lands by Sayyaf. Residents of Paghman, west of Kabul and Sayyaf's native district, have held several demonstrations in the past against illegal land grabbing.

Rahmani said they were on the way to the police headquarters of Paghman to get officials comments after covering the protest and taking photos of burnt photos when the gunmen intercepted them.

Confirming the thrashing of the Tolo workers, Police chief of Paghman Abdul Razzaq said the staffers were beaten by some unidentified gunmen. Sayyaf was not available for comment on the incident.

Head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association Rahimullah Samandar also confirmed and condemned the beating of journalists. He said it was against all international laws and norms and that warlords were still disturbing journalists' works.

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