Anchor of Saqi TV severely beaten in Herat

Anchor of Saqi TV severely beaten in Herat

Herat, April 26, 2011

Unknown men broke into house of Abdul Razzaq Pedram, anchorman in the local Saqi Television, and severely beat him.

Pedram told the Afghanistan Journalists Center two men with lashes in their hands broke into his house in the city's District Seven around midnight Sunday just after going to bed.

“I suddenly was waken by the first lashes that struck my body in the bed,” said Pedram.

“Lights were off and I could not recognize who the men were. I shouted why you beat me, they only ordered me to be silent.”

When Pedram's wife rushed to rescue him, she also came under lashes, he said, adding that the assailants ran away only when neighbors came to his help.

Pedram is presenter of Bigah (Evening) program that is broadcast live on Saqi TV in which he criticizes daily social issues.

Tariq Nabi, director of Saqi TV, asked the police to seriously chase the perpetrators and look into the incident.

Saqi was banned shortly by the government in September 2010 after the Special Commission on Investigating Media Breaches found out that some of the channel's programs were harming public order and security in Herat.

The channel was allowed to operate back after pressure from journalists and civil society organizations as well as human rights bodies.