Election observer kidnapped, beaten in Khost
KABUL (Pajhwok): An election observer on Sunday said he was severely beaten after being abducted by some gunmen in southeastern Khost province.
The victim, Ali Gul, alias Lemar Niazi, told a press conference in Khost City that he was abducted a day earlier from the city to a nearby Panzai village, where he was subjected to violence and deprived of belongings.
The former journalist had performed his duty as an observer during the April elections in the Bak district.
He said his harassers also threatened him that they would kill his family members and deprived him of money and cell phone.
He claimed the gunmen included an election observer with whom he fell in a dispute on the election day in the Shakarkhel area of Bak district.
Niazi claimed two of the gunmen attempted to kill him but others resisted the move and let him go.
He said he had shared the matter with security officials and the Independent Election Commission office in Khost.
He asked security officials to investigate the incident and find out to which group the gunmen had connections.
An official at the police headquarters said they had not been formally informed about the incident. Pajhwok tried to seek comments from the IEC Khost office in this regard, but failed.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists in Kabul said in a statement that their two colleagues had been beaten in Khost and southeastern Paktia province.
The statement said Lemar Niazi was kidnapped and severely beaten in Khost and Zamari Kamran was physically abused in Paktia.
The union condemned both incidents and called on security forces to arrest those responsible.
Meanwhile, a reporter with Zhwandoon TV was thrashed by public order police in eastern Nangarhar province.
The Afghan Journalist Protection Committee in a statement said the journalist was ill-treated at a gathering in Jalalabad.
The public order police not only physically abused the reporter but also verbally insulted him, the statement said.
Babrak Miakhel, the committee head for Nangarhar, said the victim, Ziyar Khan, was beaten in front of the governor’s house despite showing his card to the police.
The governor’s spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, said the governor had talked to the public order police commander regarding the journalist’s mistreatment and that the matter was being seriously investigated.
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