Presidential Palace rejects journalists tortured in Bamyan
KABUL/BAMYAN (Pajhwok): The Presidential Palace on Tuesday strongly rejected reports that said journalists were tortured and arrested during President Ashraf Ghani’s visit of central Bamyan province.
Shah Hussain Murtazavi, President’s Ghani deputy spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Presidential Palace had been in contact with Bamyan-based journalists two days ahead of the president’s trip and the media men were provided all facilities during the visit.
However, he said only one reporter who joined protesters was not allowed to attend the official ceremonies.
The spokesman expressed his disappointment that some media outlets without confirmation had published reports about arrest and torture of journalists during the president trip to the historic province.
According to earlier reports, a number of civil society activists in Bamyan boycotted the gathering addressed by the president and staged a protest in Harikain Chowk.
They renewed their demand for rerouting the 500kv TUTAP power project through Bamyan rather than the Salang Pass, however the protestors faced harsh reaction from police.
The activists said their four colleagues were arrested on Monday morning by Afghan President Protective Service (PPS) officials.
Later the protest turned violent and a number of policemen were wounded when the protestors pelted stones at them.
Mohammad Akhlaqi, a representative of the protestors, told Pajhwok at least 30 protestors were either beaten or arrested.
A number of reporters who wanted to cover the protest rally were also prevented by police and some reporters claimed their cameras and other stuff were either broken or confiscated.
Ilyas Tahir, Radio Salam Watandar reporter and Sayed Mohammad Hashimi, a reporter with Jamhor News Agency, were among those whose equipment were broken and even beaten by security forces.
Ilyas claimed his tools were snatched and broken by intelligence personnel belonging to the 10th division. He said cameras of many reporters were smashed.
Governor Mohammad Tahir Zuhair also rejected reports about detention and torture of reporters and said nobody was held or beaten by security officials during the president visit.
He said some media organisations and civil society groups were making baseless claims which were far from journalistic norms and values.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.