With days of protests and slogans against Taliban and Pakistan echoed Kabul streets after women being completely shut out from the Taliban‘s new government, distressing images of journalists displaying injuries sustained after being brutally tortured and beaten by the Taliban have underlined global concerns over the hardline Islamist group.
The protests came one day after the Taliban announced an interim Cabinet composed exclusively of the group’s stalwarts, with no women or former political figures and few minorities. Although the rallies were small, with only a few dozen women in each case, they put the new government to the test after it declared that participating in — and covering — protests is illegal without government permission.
Images have surfaced in the aftermath of the group announcing that government and have been shared by verified Twitter handles, including in one post by Marcus Yam (a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times) and in 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 are covered with what appear to be red welts and bruises.
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 reports, 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 yesterday, when they were abducted by the Taliban, taken to different rooms and beaten and tortured.
A video posted on social media showed a Taliban fighter whipping one of the demonstrators as several women screamed and hurried away. The Times verified the location where the video was taken. Two Afghan journalists were taken to a police station and beaten with pipes and rifle butts.