A disturbing video that has surfaced online shows a man wailing in pain as Taliban militants beat him mercilessly for allegedly stealing a cell phone.
The man has been tied to a traffic sign in Kabul near the Ministry of Education building, according to reports, where he was summarily beaten at some point over the weekend.
The Sun reported that the video had been circulating on social media.
The video shows cables being handed to the Taliban fighters to strike the suspect with as he suffers under the agony of being tied up with metal restraints.
Warning: Extremely graphic content
The footage surfaced after a pair of Afghan journalists were severely beaten by Taliban militants using whips, batons, and electrical cables because they covered a women’s protest in Kabul.
The New York Post reported that photographer Nematullah Naqdi and reporter Taqi Daryabi, who showed off their injuries, were also detained for several hours by Taliban militants.
“One of the Taliban put his foot on my head, crushed my face against the concrete. They kicked me in the head … I thought they were going to kill me,” Naqdi said in an interview with Agence France Presse.
Asked why the two journalists were being beaten, Naqdi said they were told by one of the militants, “You are lucky you weren’t beheaded.”
“We were in so much pain that we couldn’t move,” Daryabi added.
The two journalists who work for the outlet Etilaat Roz said they were sent to cover a protest outside a police station in Kabul where a group of women was protesting the Taliban’s treatment of girls and women throughout the country. Naqdi said a Taliban militant grabbed at his camera the moment he started taking pictures of the protest, adding that other fighters were detaining anyone taking video or pictures.
They are not alone; reports from various media note that dozens of reporters inside Afghanistan have been similarly treated though the ruling Taliban leaders have previously vowed to uphold press freedoms under their regime as well as adopt a less harsh governing approach overall versus the last time the group ruled the country.
Women, especially, are being targeted again for similarly restrictive treatment, with most who worked in government positions already dismissed and told to stay at home.
“I may as well be dead,” one Afghan woman said who had been removed from a senior position at the Foreign Ministry.
“I was in charge of a whole department and there were many women working with me … now we have all lost our jobs,” she told Agence France Presse after requesting her name not be used so she could avoid reprisals by Taliban officials.
Women have been told by the Taliban government to remain at home because their fighters are not accustomed to deferring to them in public, at least until a segregation plan can be worked out and put in place.
“When will that be?” said a woman who is a teacher on Monday. “This happened last time. They kept saying they would allow us to return to work, but it never happened.”
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