LONDON: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned the beating and harassment of female Afghan Journalist Selgay Ehsas and urged the Taliban authorities to immediately investigate the attack.
“Almost one year since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the cycle of threats, beatings, and intimidation of journalists continues at an alarming pace,” said CPJ’s Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna.
“The brutal attack on Afghan journalist Selgay Ehsas, followed by Taliban members forcing her to record a video allegedly absolving the group, shows that members of the press face giant hurdles working under Taliban rule.”
Ehsas, a sports presenter with the independent broadcaster Radio Dost, was walking home in late July when she was approached by armed men who identified themselves as members of the Talbian.
Ehsas was beaten on the back of her head with a heavy object that she believes was a gun. Before she fell unconscious, she heard one of the men saying the attack was because she did not “sit at home despite their warnings,” according to the journalist.
After the attack, Ehsas recorded an audio message describing the incident and questioning whether the Taliban supported attacks on women. The recording was subsequently shared on social media by unknown individuals.
Shortly after the recording was published online, Taliban members detained Ehsas’ father and uncle, and appeared at the journalist’s home, asking why she had insulted the group and questioned their authority.
Under pressure from the Taliban members and her relatives, Ehsas recorded a video message, reading from a script written by the Taliban members, which denied the group was involved in attacking her.
The Taliban members then released her father and uncle.
After that video message was published online, Ehsas and her family received threats from Taliban members, prompting them to go into hiding.
Ehsas had previously received many death threats while she was employed at various media outlets in Afghanistan, including Enikass, where four female employees were killed.
This attack is reportedly the first physical attack on a female journalist since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021.