Tuesday, 9 October 2007

PressTV reporter abducted in Kabul


“PressTV correspondent says he was beaten and threatened by U.S. officers”

Iran’s foreign ministry has condemned the arrest and beating of a PressTV correspondent by U.S. forces in Kabul. The ministry said the Americans have been trying to prevent reporting on the realities of their failure in Afghanistan.

PressTV correspondent Fayez Khurshid was abducted on Sunday evening and held in detention at a military facility for more than 18 hours. He said he was severely beaten during his ordeal and that he was warned worse was to come if he continued working for the English language television network based in Tehran.

Khurshid later told the network he had been approached by foreign troops who questioned him about who he worked for and whether he was a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The IRGC was recently added to the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

The Afghan journalist said the soldiers grabbed him and tried to force him into a Humvee and was shocked with a taser when he resisted. Unconscious, Khurshid was driven to a military base where he said American officers began a violent interrogation.

“They put a disc into a player and made me watch the reports I have made from Afghanistan,” a visibly bruised and shaken Khurshid told PressTV. “While they did this, they gave me electric shocks and beat me around the head.”

In one of his recent reports, Khurshid had said that foreign forces were largely responsible for the unrest and instability in Afghanistan.

He said the interrogators warned him against continuing his work for PressTV and threatened that his family would also suffer the consequences if he ignored their warning.

Khurshid said he repeatedly told the officers he was a freelance journalist with no political ties to any foreign country.

Since the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003 there have been dozens of reports of journalists being harassed, attacked and even killed by coalition forces. According to sources in Kabul, however, this is the first documented case of a journalist being abducted by the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

Tehran based PressTV was launched in July this year.

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1 comment:

Lillian said...

Sometimes journalists risk their lives just to bring the truth to the world. A case in point: Mr. Khurshid. As a viewer of Press TV, I feel proud of him and admire his courage and perseverance. To everyone’s relief, he was released. Best wishes to him.

And…stay safe, Chris!