Kandahar journalists condemn violence on colleagues
KANDAHARCITY (PAN): Journalist community in the southern province of Kandahar, the scene of recent violent protests that left many dead and wounded, on Monday condemned beating reporters and smashing their cameras by protestors.
"We strongly condemn the brutal behavior of demonstrators with Bashir Ahmad Naadim, a reporter with Pajhwok News Agency. Our sympathy is with Naadim and the Kandahar Press club is deeply concerned over the incident," the journalist body said in a statement.
Sixteen people were killed and more than 80 others were wounded when demonstrations against a Christian preacher, who set light to a copy of the holy Quran in a small Florida church on March 20, turned violent.
Police were unable to control the angry mob, with demonstrators carrying sticks, stones and even weapons," the Kandahar press club said, adding public and private properties were attacked during the protests.
"They attacked journalists, smashed their cameras and other equipment during the protest that left more than one hundred people dead and wounded," the statement said.
Pajhwok reporter Bashir Ahmad Naadim was among four journalists, including Pajhwok video reporter Seddiqullah, Aljazeera English reporter Sami Ghairatmal and the Associated Press photographer Allauddin, who visited the venue to cover the demonstration on Saturday at approximately 10am. As they reached there, the demonstrators attacked them and started beating Naadim with sticks and fists on the head and back. He also got his one finger, camera and other equipment broken.
"Naadim was badly beaten and his one finger was broken," the statement said. "Protest and demonstration is the right of people, but in our society all such protests and demonstrations turn into violence and result in civilian casualties and damages to public and private properties," it added.
Journalists and the press club members appealed to the government to arrest and punish those responsible for humiliating reporters under the pretext of demonstration.
The club also urged common people, the government and the rebels to respect the rights of journalists.
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