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    Journalists beaten by lab guards

    KABUL (PAN): Journalists associated with a private TV channel on Thursday complained they were beaten by workers of a diagnostic facility in Kabul.

    They wanted to discuss a health report with City Laboratory officials but the security guards on duty hit them with Kalashnikov butts, the Zhwandoon TV reporter said.

    Ajmal Munir Nizami told Pajhwok Afghan News they were working on a report that about 200 people had tested their blood groups at the laboratory in an effort to receive driving licences from the traffic department.

    But the department says it does not recognise City Laboratory tests. It says the tests done only by the government-run blood bank are acceptable.

    Nizami said he was trying to share the issue with lab staff, but the guards thrashed him and the cameraman accompanying him. The photographer’s camera was smashed, he added.

    Meanwhile, the TV channel denounced the incident as a brazen attempt at curbing the freedom of expression and naked aggression against journalists.

    While demanding stern action against the lab guards, the channel asked security forces to refer the perpetrators to judicial organs for prosecution.

    But a City Laboratory official, Dr. Saleh Ahmad, said the TV representatives had a pistol and they did not allow the security guards to search their bag.

    One of the journalists slapped the guard, leading to an exchange of blows, said the doctor, who claimed: “We have vise-tapped this incident.”