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  • War in Afghanistan (2001-present)

image source, MARCUS YAM/LOS ANGELES TIMES/Shutterstockimage captionJournalists from the Etilaatroz newspaper were flogged with cables

Journalists in Afghanistan say that they have been beaten, detained and flogged by the Taliban when attempting to cover protests.

Photos circulating online show two journalists from Etilaatroz newspaper with welts and bruises after their arrest in the capital Kabul.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the Taliban to allow the media to operate freely.

On Wednesday, the BBC's team were also prevented from filming.

Etilaatroz's photographer Nematullah Naqdi and reporter Taqi Daryabi were arrested at a small protest in Kabul on Wednesday.

Afterwards, they were taken to a police station in Kabul, where they say they were beaten with batons, electrical cables and whips. A few hours later, they were released by the Taliban, without explanation.

"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," Mr Naqdi told AFP news agency.

He asked why he was being beaten, only to be told: "You are lucky you weren't beheaded."

Taliban fighters tried to take away his camera, he said, as soon as he started taking photographs.

"They arrested all those who were filming and took their phones," he told AFP.

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Other journalists, including the BBC's team, were prevented from filming in Kabul on Wednesday. Afghanistan's Tolo news agency reported that its cameraman had been arrested and held by the Taliban for nearly three hours.

The CPJ, an international non-governmental organisation, said at least 14 journalists had been detained and then released over the past two days.

"The Taliban is quickly proving that earlier promises to allow Afghanistan's independent media to continue operating freely and safely are worthless," said Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia programme co-ordinator.

"We urge the Taliban to live up to those earlier promises, to stop beating and detaining reporters doing their job, and allow the media to work freely without fear of reprisal."

image source, MARCUS YAM/LOS ANGELES TIMES/Shutterstockimage captionInjured journalists Taqi Daryabi, left, and Nematullah Naqdi Naqdi

Earlier this week, the Taliban, which seized control of Afghanistan in a sweeping offensive more than three weeks ago, announced the formation of an all-male interim government to rule the country.

Since then, they have effectively banned protests, declaring them illegal unless permission is sought from the ministry of justice.

media captionA group of women protest in Kabul against the all-male Taliban government