PAN, April 5, 2014
Pajhwok reporter beaten, camera broken by army personnel
ANA personnel stopped them and threatened them to avoid “negative reporting”
A Pajhwok Afghan News video journalist was beaten and his camera broken by Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel guarding polling stations in the Lalpura district of eastern Nangarhar province on Saturday.
Pajhwok reporter in the east, Mahbob Shah Mahbob, said he had travelled to the district along with cameraman Babrak Amirzada to cover the landmark elections.
They were thoroughly searched by police before being allowed entry into polling stations, but ANA personnel stopped them and threatened them to avoid “negative reporting”.
“We told the troops that we are impartial and have come here to reveal the facts,” Mahbob said, alleging the troops ordered them to report what they liked.
But it was all of a sudden when some ANA service members attacked Amirzada, beat him, smashed his camera and locked him up in a room for half an hour, according to Mahbob.
Mahbob and Amirzada covered the elections in areas between Jalalabad, the provincial capital, and the Torkham border town.
Gen. Dadan Lawang, the ANA’s 201st Selab Military Corps commander, who was present in Lalpura, assured Pajhwok intimidation of its reporter would be investigated.
Pajhwok Director Danish Karokhel strongly condemned the incident, saying the reporters risked their lives travelling to remote parts of the country to cover the historic democratic exercise.
He called on the Ministry of Defence to investigate the incident and compensate the agency for the damage.
The incident comes a day after a foreign journalist was shot dead and her colleague injured by a police officer in southeastern Khost province.
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