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Herat truck drivers say intimidated for extortion by police

Herat truck drivers say intimidated for extortion by police

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Jan 05, 2019 - 20:11

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): A number of truck drivers have complained about their mistreatment by police on the Herat-Kandahar highway in western Herat province, saying police not only stop their vehicles but demand ‘sex’ if they are not paid money.

The drivers claim they are  not only harassed, insulted and humiliated by police on the highway, but Talibaninfo-icon and armed robbers also extort them. They complain the government is doing nothing to control the situation.

Mohammad Daud, one of the drivers on the Herat-Kandahar highway, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “We must work to feed our families despite threats to our lives on this highway, we pay money to police, traffic officers, at security posts, to armed robbers and the Taliban.”

He said a few days ago the owner of his truck was traveling with him on the truck when police stopped them and demanded money; but the truck owner told them he was only a transporter, not owner of the goods.

“We earn money by transporting goods which hardly meets our own requirements,” he added.

He said police ignored his truck owner’s explanation, insulted him owner and asked him to get prepared for sodomy.

Nisar Ahmad, owner of a cargo truck, said a policeman mistreated and insulted him in front of his driver and asked him to pay money or should do sex with him.

Mohammad Halim, another truck driver, told Pajhwok that he had to pay 30,000 afghanis to strongmen while travelling from Kabulinfo-icon to Herat.

The drivers said they have repeatedly complained to the government about the problem, but they were ignored.

Three days back, Transport Minister Mohammad Hamid Tahmasi during his trip to Herat province acknowledged problems on the highway and urged the Ministry of Interior’s cooperation in this regard.

Herat police officials refused to comment about the issue. However, the local administration says the issue would be resolved in coordination with security forces.

Mohayuddin Noori, Heart’s acting governor, said problems on the Herat-Kandahar highway had been discussed in military meetings and efforts were underway for their solution.

Drivers on the highway in recent past complained that police used to open fire at their trucks if they refuse to pay money.

Pajhwok tried to seek the Ministry of Interior’s comment about the issue from, but failed.

mds/ma

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