Legal action against NDS officials promisedBy Mahbob Shah Mahbob Feb 25, 2013 - 21:46
JALALABAD (PAN): Authorities in eastern Nangarhar province on Monday promised mulling legal action against National Directorate of Security (NDS) officials who physically assaulted journalists in the wake of Sunday's suicide car bombing.
The assurance came at talks between a 25-member delegation of media representatives, Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif and provincial NDS chief in Jalalabad, said Lal Pacha Azmoon, a senior journalist and head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA).
The meeting that involved civil and military officials came a day after journalist bodies across the country lashed out at the intelligence personnel for beating media representatives. Reporters, who were physically assaulted, gave the authorities 24 hours to bring the assailants to justice.
NDS officials allegedly thrashed and used abusive language against reporters with different media outlets, as they arrived at the blast site for coverage.
Pacha said Nangarhar NDS chief Gul Nabi Wardak tendered an apology over the incident at the meeting and promised efforts to prevent a recurrece of such maltreatment.
But journalists refused to accept his apology, calling for legal action against their bashers, the journalist said, adding the deputy governor and NDS officials then promised to book the men involved.
The participants were shown a video clip that showed NDS officials hitting reporters with gun butts.
Wardak said those found guilty would be tried under the department's laws and regulations. "No law allows security officials to insult journalists. We are taking the issue seriously," the official said.
Pacha said journalists would meet soon to chart out their future course of action in case action was not taken against the NDS officials.